Sunday, December 20, 2009

Faster, Easier Coiling, ....And the Winner Is.......

Missy! To find the comment winner of my ceramic base giveaway, I first counted all the comments on this series. There were 84 comments in all. Thanks to everyone for commenting. Then i went to, and entered the total number of comments into the little box on the right-hand side of the page. That's a screen shot of when I did it, there on the left. As you can see, the Randomizer selected comment #79 from the list. Then i had to count and find out which comment was number 79. Missy's comment is on the last post, it is comment #4 on that post. The winner is Missy Steffey
(Tennessee.) Missy, as there is no contact information in your comment, please contact me by email.

Missy has won a pottery basket base from my MakeABasket etsy shop. I will be sending her this blue and white snowflake base to try her hand in making a basket with. Send me your address, Missy! We would love to see the beautiful basket you make with it!

Thanks again to everyone who has followed this series and made comments. I am touched by your faithfulness and appreciate your enthusiasm. I hope to start another series soon!

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

NCBA Convention Classes with Anne Bowers

Cabbage, Kale, Kohlrabi

Being a 'ribbed addicted' person has lead me in alot of interesting directions...and this basket is an example of a marriage between ribs, color and a series! This is the 3rd in my 'Vegetable Series' of ribbed baskets. Look closely at the handle and you'll see a new handle created just for this basket featuring Japanese and regular cane. The hoops are 10" square and you'll be using preformed, dyed ribs. In fact all of the materials for this are dyed and students will have a palette of at least 12 colors and textures to choose from. Guaranteed, no two will look the same! I'll share with you my techniques on weaving on the diagonal, changing colors within the gods eyes and knowing the tricks to successfully complete the weaving.

Triple Braided Margaret's Square

I've found that the best way to quell a student fairly new to ribbed construction is to show how to make a square ribbed basket that makes use of preformed ribs. This greatly helps with the shape as you get the hang of how to weave over round ribs with flat weavers while learning the basics of ribbed construction. But one of the greatest features of this square basket is the triple braided cane handle. Lots of color choices will be available for class or in kit form.

Twiggy Hammock - aka "Sticky Rib Thing"

Fun with ribs??? Sure! Here is a perfect example - a 2 hour class (really!) in which you can make a unique wall basket. It starts with a wierd stick (there are lots of them around, you know!) that is drilled before class. The secret is - I'll tell you here - the ribs are fastened on one side while they 'float' till you're almost finished with the basket. Lots of fun materials will be used in class to make a special memory basket all your own!

If any of these sound like a fun and informative basket to take at convention, I'd like to invite you to come to my classes at the upcoming NCBA convention!

Anne Bowers

To find all posts about NCBA Convention 2010, click here

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

18. Three Considerations for Faster, Easier Coiling Post 18

As I said before, this is the last post in this series.
Again, thank you for accompanying me on this series. Going back to the beginning of the series, remember the three considerations are:

1. Your Attitude
2. Your Tools
3. Your Habits

We spent an awful lot of time talking about your habits. But in the end, habits are not what is MOST important. The MOST important thing, as in all areas of life, is your attitude, and that is what I want to revisit now.

For all self-learners, please remember to be as patient and kind to yourself as you would like a teacher to be. Don’t get angry and annoyed with yourself because things are not happening the way you would like them to. It is very difficult to be both the teacher and the student. Every time you lose your patience, remember how unfair your teacher is being to your student.

If something does not work, you know you must try something else. Ask for advice (the Pine Needle Group is a wonderful place to ask,) look in your book, search the internet, or just think about what is happening and try to cipher why. It does not help to keep doing the same thing over and over. It is true, some things just require practice. But sometimes your expectation must be altered. Was this going to be an open bowl? Perhaps you will make a tall vase instead. I bet it will be just beautiful! The NEXT basket, maybe, will be the open bowl, when you tackle needle angle and learn how to shape just the way you want to!

Try to build your skills in manageable ways. I recommend, for at least your first few baskets, that you make the decision to stick with whatever you have done, and make yourself finish what you have started…that is: make the basket from start to end, even if you don’t like it. No ripping out or starting over. Move only forward, not backwards. Then set it aside. It is important, when first beginning to learn, that you gain experience in all parts of making the basket: the establishment, the middle, the finish. Understanding how the whole is made by the parts is an essential part of learning. Once you are familiar with how everything fits together, you can refine your technique.

Keep your first baskets so you can look back at them when you are an old pro, and see how far you have come. (that's my first basket at left...i bet yours looks alot better than that!) If you make a basket and truly do not like it, I recommend you give it away, if possible, rather than destroying it or letting it fester in your thought process. Then move forward. It is very important to recognize these completed baskets as successes on your road to learning. They are, after all, baskets! Isn’t that truly what you set out to make? I have found others are much more forgiving than we are to ourselves, and you might be surprised that someone else cherishes a project you thought inferior. As your skill level climbs, you will be able to hone your problem solving process, and it will become easier to find what works for you.

Take the time to talk to other coilers. Listen to what they say. Ask questions about how they do things. Ask why. Pay attention to direction of coil, materials, tools, every little technique. Consider the experiences of others, and learn from them. And then find your own method, and with it, your own voice!

Thank you so much for traveling with me through this series, listening to my thoughts on philosophy of coiling. Yes, that is what this has been. Did I trick you? I know I titled this series to make you think it was about quickness and simplicity. But it really is not. It is about exploration, introspection, about adventuring through learning, creating from the heart! It is about applying what you learn in your life journey to the art and craft of coiling. AND, when you have asked yourself all these questions, and thought about them, I am betting not only it SEEM you coil more quickly and without as much difficulty, it will BE that way.

You’ve been wonderful, I hope you will continue to join me as I proceed through my weaving and other life ventures in this blog!

As a little thank you, i will be giving away a pottery base like the ones i sell in my etsy shop . To be eligible, just leave a comment on any post in this series. I will choose a post randomly, using the randomizer, and post the results here.

to see all the blog posts on this topic, click here

Monday, December 14, 2009

NCBA Convention Baskets with Vladimir Yarish

As a basket maker and instructor, I am honored to have three classes selected for NCBA Convention, 2010. It is always exciting to receive the brochure in the mail and now to see my original designs on the website is even more exciting!

You’ll study how it is interesting to weave of birch bark in Russian strong style using a special weaving tool – kostik. You can use the basket for nuts, sweets, ets. During 4 hours you’ll be really enjoyable time creating the basket.

I invite you to celebrate this good event – “Celebrating Baskets” with me also in March at the NCBA Convention in 2010!

I will have a few copies of my book available.


Variation on Square-to-Round Russian Birch Bark Basket

The square-to-round design is the basis for more complicated baskets and is strongly recommended for those with no prior experience in bias plaiting or double weaving techniques.

FR 483
Friday, 1:30 – 5:30 pm
4 hours
1¼” high x 4¼” diameter

Square-to-round Russian Birch Bark Basket

This is another square-to-round design basic for progressing to more complicated baskets and is strongly recommended for those with no prior experience in bias plaiting. This one has an added rim variation and pinwheels.

Saturday, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
4 hours
1½” high x 4¼” diameter

“Ripples” Contemporary Basket in Russian Birch Bark

“Ripples” is the basket that I taught at the NCBA Convention in 2006. This shape was invented by one of my student in my basketry guild in Velikiy Novgorod. When my student created it almost all my other students repeat in for themselves. And after that I took it as a project for my American teaching programs. All my students in US also liked it very much and I’m glad to see that it on my teaching list again!

Sunday, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm Looking forward to seeing you soon.
4 hours
2” high x 4” diameter

Looking forward to seeing you soon.
With great Wishes,
Vladimir Yarish

Sunday, December 13, 2009

NCBA Classes with Anne Coleman

Traditional Appalachian Fan Basket
In the description in the NCBA Catalog the basket is described as round. I guess I should have proofread more carefully. The silhouette as pictured gives a half circle of weaving , but the ends are flattened, it is not round from all angles. The name comes from the silhouette shape being the shape of the old paper fans on a stick that we used to use in church and other public venues before air conditioning. In my class we will begin with an assembled ribbed skeleton on an oak frame. I am planning to have several widths of reed to weave with, choose one size or mix them up. Those participating will have a chance to practice and learn my easy method of 'turning back'. When the ribs are full of weaving you may choose to do the decorative weaving around the frame of the basket. This can be done in cane or reed and I will have a choice of weaving patterns. We should have enough time to complete the project and I will give up some of my secrets for coloring and finishing your baskets to make them last a lifetime. My baskets from the early 80's still look good and have unfaded color

Square Bottom
This basket is very tall. It is made on a 20'' handle. The actual weaving for the body of the basket is quick and easy. You will learn to weave continuously using a method I discovered studying old baskets. Actually most old baskets are made this way and I have never know of any one else in modern times using this method unless they have picked it up from me. The decorative vertical herringbone braiding is done in cane. This braid leaves no loose ends on the inside of the basket like I have seen on other teachers braiding adornments. Loose ends on the inside means the basket has no practical use as a container without knocking the braid loose. The braid I created leaves the inside of the basket free and the basket can be used. Braiding on the handle is optional, you may decide to leave this off and that will be fine. The spokes are different widths and the woven bottom is partially filled in with diagonal weaving, also optional.

Canterbury cross

This is a large easy basket that will sit on eight points instead of four like a 'cat head'. When the bottom that is a simple square changes into a cross it is an "aha, why didn't I think of that" moment. The shape just happens and the wooden handles complement it well. The inspiration for this basket was from an object in the background of a Renaissance painting. See you in Raleigh.

to find more posts about NCBA 2010, click here

Saturday, December 12, 2009

NCBA Convention Class with Tonya Cubeta

I would love to have you in my class on Friday and Saturday at the North Carolina Convention. I am so excited to teach this class.

My husband made these 9 x 13 frames for me, If you have never caned before, this is the perfect project to learn on. I hope to see you all there.
to find more posts about NCBA 2010, click here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Corn Basket by Shirley Thomason

Here is another lovely basket, made by Shirley Thomason, or Shatoma, as many people on the Pine Needle Group know her. I love the stripe of yellow pine needles in it, Shatoma! So nice of you to share it with us!

More corn bases are coming to my etsy shop, MakeABasket, soon!

to find more baskets made with these pottery bases, click on the label pottery base below

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

17. Three Considerations for Faster, Easier Coiling Post 17

Thanks very much to everyone who has followed this series. I have loved reading your comments! John’s comment on the last post was,

“Given the information on this particular blog, I am tempted to sign up for a coiling workshop the next time my local Guild (The Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners) offers such a course.”

I must say to John : please don’t wait! As an experienced basketmaker, parent of a child with autism, and business owner, I KNOW you are practiced at problem-solving. Coiling is so simple – there are only 2 active elements, the core and the binder. Contrasted with every other form of weaving, except knotless netting, this is the simplest (knotless netting only has one active element.) After having hosted the Pine Needle Group (which I originated in 1998) for eleven years, I believe that MOST coilers come to coiling all on their own. I obviously do not hear from the people who don’t stick with it. But I hear from hundreds every year who do, and find coiling relaxing, expressive, fun and easy. DON’T WAIT for the next class. There are so many instructions on the web, so many books, it is so easy to do this all by yourself. If you sit down today and try, you may find yourself TEACHING the next class for your guild (no fooling.) I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that very story!

Recently, I have begun including free DIY instructions (very basic) with purchase of any item in my MakeABasket etsy shop. These instructions are for using a base, and of course I am trying to sell my pottery bases there. But any base will do, and, as we just talked about base options, and you see you can make one at home with what you have, there is little excuse left. So, for readers of this blog, I will be glad to send you my sheet of free basic instructions, just email me!

Yesterday, saw the local basket legend, I have not seen her for a long time. She has been making baskets for over 30 years. When anyone talks about baskets in this county, her name is mentioned. Until about 5 years ago, I know she had made just about any basket - except a coiled one. In the last few years she began picking up pine needles, and now her booth at the annual Christmas Craft fair includes some pottery or gourd-based coiled vessels. Last night, she told me she had battled breast cancer this summer. I was stunned. Here she was, as usual, with her booth full of beautiful baskets of every style and size imaginable. I told her she certainly appeared to have been productive, given the radical surgery and other treatments she had endured. Almost apologetically, she motioned to the coiled baskets, and said that during her recovery, pine needle baskets were what she chose to work on.

I am inspired that she was able to continue weaving even when she was going through such a trial. It comforts ME that she found solace in coiling. I am proud to be part of a tradition that brings peace and sustenance to the soul…aren’t you? The measuring, cutting, laying out in wide spaces, etc, are just absent from coiled work, once the basics are mastered, it is – pure and simple – joy! Many people with challenges have found ways to use the rhythmic, meditative therapy of coiling, I have heard of blind coilers, and even coilers with only one useable hand! In addition, pine needles are portable, require little elbow room, there is not much debris, and very few necessary tools. Some other coiling mediums, like waxed linen and horsehair, are even smaller and easier to carry. No wonder more and more basketmakers are discovering what they have missed, and coming (back?) to coiling. Some people believe coiling was the FIRST basketmaking technique practiced in this world.

If you have not left a comment yet and would like to, now is your chance. I have just realized that I can sort and count comments using the blog's dashboard...and a thought came to me...i will have another giveaway! I so loved seeing the basket that Susan made with my giveaway base! So i will give away one more base, to a random comment on my "Faster Easier Coiling" series. If you would like to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on any post in that series. I will have "the randomizer" choose from the number of posts and announce it here on this list, as well as in the blog, when the series is over!

I have diverged from my original plan, but the next post will be the last in this series….i hope you will be here to read it! As usual, I welcome your comments.

Monday, December 7, 2009

NCBA Convention Baskets with Pati English

Decorative Handle Wraps, Fancy Cross Carryall Basket,
And Spirals Change Baskets
by Pati English

As a basket maker and instructor, I am honored to have three classes selected for NCBA Convention, 2010. It is always exciting to receive the brochure in the mail and now to see my original designs on the website is even more exciting!

The mini bonus class,Decorative Handle Wraps, is being offered for the second year. This fun session has several designs and handles to wrap to use in future baskets, and the skills to go home and wrap the handle of any basket in your collection. My Fancy Cross Carryall Basket was created for a 50th birthday present for a special friend. The Spirals Change design is an award winning basket changing with each new piece created in this series. Inspired by a Kari Lonning three day seminar, this original design won First Place Professional Wicker category at 2009 NCBA Convention Exhibit. It was also juried in the North Charleston Cultural Arts Exhibition and selected for the S.C. Palmetto Hands Traveling Exhibition
with the S.C. Museum for 2009-2010.

Decorative Handle Wraps

Mini Bonus Class
Thursday 1:00-3:00 p.m.
All Levels $33.
A great way to learn new Handle Wrap Techniques. With instructions,
materials including cane, flat, and flat oval dyed reed, learn the Double,
or Triple Braid, Arrow, and Checkerboard designs. Two 8” oak “D”
handles are provided to complete two different wrap techniques in class;
or create a Handle Sampler with all four techniques on the same handle.
Learn to start, how to add-on new wrapper, and how to end the wrap for
a comfortable and decorative handle grip.

Fancy Cross Carryall Basket

Friday 8:30-5:30 8 hours
8”(W) x 15” (L) x 8”(H) 14” w/Handle
Intermediate Weaving Level $79.
With a woven filled-in base, learn to weave paired flat oval filler
spokes without splitting base spokes. Dyed round reed Three
Rod Wale creates a border for each fancy “cross” design on
this sturdy carryall. Select cocoa brown, as pictured, wine,
green, or teal with other color choices available. Wide dyed
weavers and cane cross overlays add to this fancy basket
finished with double cross knots and the double strand cane
braid handle wrap technique; other handle wrap designs offered
for a comfortable and decorative grip.

Spirals Change

Saturday 8:30-5:30
Sunday 8:00-noon 12 hours
Advanced Weaving Level $79
Emphasis on Three Rod Wale variations and shaping techniques,
20 spoke woven base with continuous spiral and reverse spiral.
Challenge your skills and create a unique basket in teal/gold
#2.5mm round reed; or cocoa/rust; other colors available.
Learn how to add single spirals of color and finish with a three
step woven border. Round reed experience needed. The
cocoa/rust Spirals Change Basket won First Place Professional
Wicker Category 2009 NCBA Convention Exhibit

March will be here before we know it and at NCBA Convention, 2010, we will be “Celebrating Baskets”. I am looking forward to seeing you there.
Woven Wishes,
Pati English
email me at:

to find more posts about NCBA 2010, click here

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Beautiful Basket by Susan Avery

Remember awhile ago, there was a giveaway in this blog, and Susan Avery won the pottery base and coodinatating bead? Well, I just got this lovely email from Susan:

I just completed a basket made with the pottery base and button that I won from your blog contest sometime ago. As you requested, I'm enclosing pictures of what I made. By mistake, I made the knob a little out of proportion to the base, but oh well, that is how it sometimes works out. I've yet to conquer balance of design and probably never will, but that does not stop me from continuing the full enjoyment of coiling. I think that is what it is all about.

One other note, I finally learned how to use the needle grabber and not sure how I ever got along without it. Thanks for your efforts with that as well.

Susan Avery

I don't think the knob is out of proportion at all! What do you all think? I think the basket is graceful and very beautifully a matter of fact, Susan Avery's work reminds me of the work of Susan Cowell,which i have long admired. I was intrigued by Susan's treatment on the first row of the base. So I asked her about it, and she wrote again:

first tried attaching the needles without wrapping and found it was hard to cinch them against the base while keeping the binder tight at he same time.. So, I measured the distance around the base, then wrapped a length of needles with artificial sinew to match the measurement before I started attaching them to the base. I used waxed linen as the binder for the rest of the basket. It attaches itself to the artificial sinew nicely to hold the coil in place as I stitched around the base. I find it so much easier than trying to keep the bundle and binder tight as I add needles. When the bundle is wrapped, it seems to bend easier to match whatever form I'm using for the base. There are a few little gaps in this one, but not too noticeable. I tried several techniques to cover the holes, but each one seemed to take away from the clay leaf pattern and so decided to leave the holes to show.

Posting pictures/notes whenever or even if you choose or not, is fine with me. Would be curious to know if others wrap or not-wrap their first row or get tips on how they cinch the bundle against the base without wrapping. Maybe I'm the only one who has problems with that.

Once again, many thanks


Thanks to you, Susan. I love the basket! Did you notice the little feet? They are a wonderful touch!

For pottery bases, some with coordinating beads, please see my etsy shop MakeABasket.

to find more baskets made with these pottery bases, click on the label pottery base below

Black Ash Basketry Classes at NCBA Convention With JoAnn Kelly Catsos!

I'm thrilled to be teaching my original black ash basket designs at the NCBA Convention in March 2010. My very first convention was teaching for NCBA in 1994 - has it really been 16 years??!!
I teach and weave with black ash splint that is harvested and processed by my husband, Steve, from trees near our home in southwestern Massachusetts. Along with the splint, we make all the handles, rims and molds needed for each basket. Next year I'll be teaching 2 baskets at the convention. It's a wonderful event that I look forward to each year, filled with baskets, friends and fun.

Small Elegance

3 p.m. - 10 p.m. on
Thursday, March 11
intermediate weaving level;
prior twill experience is helpful
material fee $62

This elegant low cathead basket was inspired by the quadrafoil twill pattern found in antique Shaker baskets. Weave the quadrafoil twill with fiinely prepared black ash splint over a wooden mold - in a comfortable atmosphere. Darker heartwood stakes and whiter sapwood weavers highlight the twill pattern, while maple rims complete the basket. A student toolbox is provided. The Small Elegance basket is 6 1/4" in diameter x 3" deep

Snowflake Bowl

NOTICE: this class is listed incorrectly in the NCBA brochure!
The correct days for class are:
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
on both
Friday, March 12
Saturday, March 13

advanced weaving level,
with previous ash and twill experience suggested
material fee $109

Don't miss this chance to weave with precisely prepared black ash splint over a wooden mold to create this breath-taking 8 point twill pattern on a lovely cathead bowl. I developed this pattern - it was inspired by the quadrafoil twill pattern found in Shaker baskets. By using darker heartwood stakes and lighter sapwood weavers, the twill pattern is eye-catching. Maple rims that are single lashed complete this basket. Extra weaving outside of class may be needed. Previous ash experience is required to complete this challenging and fabulous basket. I provide a toolbox for each student. The Snowflake Bowl is 9 3/4" in diameter and 3" deep.

I hope to see you at the NCBA Convention. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Happy Weaving and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 4, 2009

16. Three Considerations for Faster, Easier Coiling Post 16

Well, we have taken a little break from our series, Three Considerations for Faster, Easier Coiling, for a glimpse at the NCBA Convention, but now return...

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post, which was about using bases to start. I agree with Tony, Annejala, and Donna, i much prefer starting a basket "from nothing," that is, making a button. But i have found the challenge of the beginning more than many students can tackle. I don't know why coiling is perceived by some as difficult, but it is. But I also agree with Deb that using basket starts not only can make it easier for students to learn, but also increases the creative options for basketmakers. It also makes it easier to teach children.

Recommended starts for speed and ease of handling:

* drilled wooded pieces, regardless of their shape. They should be flat and pre-drilled

* pottery with holes around (properly fired polymer clay is fine, too, but make sure it is really fired…usually longer than specified, and perhaps at a lower temperature. The little perforated edges tend to break off if you don’t fire it thoroughly enough)

* discarded cds…glue two together, shiny sides out, if you don’t like the design. (E6000 or similar glue, even hotglue will work. The cds only have to be held by the glue until the pine needles go around one time, after that, the stitching will hold them.) This can be decorated with sharpie marker, or left plain. Poke holes either with a hot ice pick or drill with a dremel.

* Some people love walnut or hickory nut slices. I find them just a little too small for beginner’s comfort, but they are lovely and easy to obtain

*decoupaged cardboard can also make lovely starts, and be fun to make

*Shrink plastic. Put the holes in BEFORE shrinking.

*gourd pieces

*traditional teneriffe shapes

There are really endless items that can be used for starts...all of the baskets in this post were made by beginners, at public events, using The People Basket system.

I would love to hear about your favorite basketry starts, please leave a positive comment here for everyone to read!

The next post begins our wrap-up.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

NCBA CONVENTION: Classes with Pamela Zimmerman

I am honored to be teaching at the NCBA Convention in March 2010 again this year! Every year it proves to be so much fun, if exhausting, to fill my days (and nights) with baskets for those 4 days! The Convention Brochure has now been posted online.

Sorry, for those of you who have inquired, no, i am not teaching any horsehair basket classes this year. I did submit them, but they were not selected. Perhaps next year. In the mean time, if you want to try your hand at a kit, they are available in my etsy shop.

Here are my classes:

Page 11
Acorn Cap Ornament
Thursday 1 pm -3 pm
Mini Bonus
All Levels
approx. 3" x 1 1/2"

Yes, that is a REALLY Big acorn cap! Coil a cute ornament on a huge Burr Oak acorn cap, using pine needles and colored sinew. Learn the classic hurricane handle. Embellish with distinctive printed jingle bell. Bring sharp small scissors. Good finger dexterity required. Choice of colors.

Pine Needle Turtle Effigy
Friday 1:30 - 5:30pm
4 hours
all levels
1" x 1" varies

Coiled animal effigies are commonly seen in several Native American cultures. The turtle is generally a symbol of creation and motherhood. Your turtle will be coiled of longleaf pine and raffia, and will have pine cone scale appendiges. You will coil the whole shell, top and bottom, and connect them. Very cute!

Page 31
For the Bees
Saturday, 8:30 - 12:30pm
4 hours
all levels
2" x 2" varies

Coil this adorable mini-bee skep, and then weave one or more micro-bee(s) to buzz around it! Skep is coiled of pine needles and raffia. Learn the magic disappearing start and back and forth bead weaving. Bring a light for bead-weaving. A magnifier helps, too.

Can't wait to see you there! Has everyone looked at online registration!???? It is wonderful! Links to the teacher's emails right there on the page!

pamela zimmerman

to find more posts about classes at ncba 2010, click here

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lynn Hoyt Classes at NCBA

Reprinted from Lynn Hoyt's blog, MidnightCoiler... creative pursuits, nature, friends, etsy and treasuries:

Baskets I'm Teaching at NCBA, 2010

Please take a look at these photos of the baskets I'm teaching at NCBA Convention in March. Unfortunately the brochure photos didn't show the color or detail at all. These are a better representation of what they look like. I hope you'll tell your friends to look here and will consider them when selecting your classes. Thanks. Lynn Hoyt

Gleam-n-Glow Beaded Mini Gourd
Lynn Hoyt
4 Hours
All Levels
2 1/4"H X 3 1/4" D
page 31

Learn to bead coil on these gently undulating mini gourds. These vibrantly colored little vessels will gleam and glow with every stitch as you coil flat across the top with fragrant sweetgrass. Color coordinated options offered. A treat for the senses and a darling basket for rings and small treasures.

Oval Fantasy Sweetgrass Necklace
Lynn Hoyt
4 hours
All Levels
2 1/4"W X 2 3/4" H
page 40

Lots of techniques will complete this colorful sweet-smelling pendant. You'll start by learning to inlay a handmade gilded stoneware medallion into an oval gourd piece and apply a woodburned accent. Then coil the pendant with fragrant sweetgrass, add a brass finding and twist a waxed linen neck cord. This is small work, so manual dexterity, a small light and possibly magnifying glasses are recommended.

Watch this space for more brochure highlights! If you are an NCBA 2010 teacher, and would like to highlight your classes here, please email me.

for more posts about NCBA 2010, click here

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blue Light Specials for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Not out shopping? Maybe you already have been, but are back home? No need to feel left out!

All this weekend (and maybe next week) I will be featuring Blue Light specials in my Etsy shops:

To make it easier for you, here are the searches for JUST the sale items in these shops:

To be notified of the Blue Light Specials, check my twitter page or facebook page. You must be a friend of mind on facebook to see them there...but just request, and i will approve you. For Twitter, you don't have to be a member, or be following me, you can just check my profile.

Each special will be posted individually. When that item is gone, it is gone *unless multiples are listed to begin with*

Look for the twitter has tag #bluelightspecial to sort all the specials, if you are a twitterer already!

Happy Black Friday! Hope everyone had a marvelous Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

Question from John Toft yesterday: when and where is the NCBA convention?

Here is the info, John. Thanks so much for asking! It would be wonderful to meet you there!

NCBA Convention 2010
"Celebrating Baskets!"
March 11-14, 2010
Sheraton Imperial Hotel
Durham, NC

You must be a member to attend.
Online Brochure will hopefully be up by next week at the latest!
Registration is all online (or you can still mail it) and is happening NOW!

This blog will feature some classes and teacher information, stay tuned!

for more posts about NCBA 2010, click here

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NCBA Convention Brochure Has Arrived!

It's finally here! The 2010 North Carolina Basketmakers Association Convention Brochure has arrived! I am so excited - aren't you? Almost 200 beautiful baskets all for the weaving...and celebrating! The theme is "Celebrating Baskets!" That is the cover of the brochure, at left.
Convention Brochure has been posted online.

Since this year NCBA has a new online system, members are already entering their class choices - no waiting for a deadline! So wonderful. Thanks very much to Jim D'Errico for getting this new system up and running for NCBA! Jim deserves a very hearty congratulations, i am sure this was a big job. Jim's wife, Andria, is the Class Assignments Chair, and they have been working together to fulfill their vision of how class assignments should be - for over a year now. So cool.

I can't wait to see you all at convention, it is so much fun every year. This year i am teaching three classes, and i hope to soon tell you about them. I am going to list them in this space, on my blog, with photos and descriptions. As i was about to do so, it occurred to me that there are probably other teachers who would like to tell you more about the classes they will be teaching. So i am making this offer: if you are a teacher, teaching at NCBA this year, i will publish your class information in this blog. For details, please email me.


for more posts about NCBA 2010, click here

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

15. Three Considerations for Faster, Easier Coiling Post 15

Thanks so much to Jeannie and Donna for their comments on the last post.

We are almost finished with this series, but i must address the use of “starts."

Starting a basket from nothing, or making a button, can be time consuming. Many people today have never made their own basket start. Though button-building is something I think every basketmaker should definitely learn, the use of prepared, commercial starts is a wonderful way for novice basketmakers to be introduced to coiling.

Because button-making is challenging, it is not optimal as the first lesson a student must learn. Historically, apprentices a huge amount of time observing and doing menial tasks before being allowed to try their hand at a craft. Today’s students walk into a class with a desire to make something, and the expectation that it will be made quickly and with little anguish. For these students, it is better to build proficiency in handling pine needles and understanding the basic processes of coiling, the mechanics of how the basket is built, BEFORE the student attempts a button start. Once competence is achieved at maintaining coil size, adding materials (binder and core) and basic stitching, it is easier to turn to the complexities of making a basket out of “thin air,” that is turning a pile of pine needles and thread into a basket. So for speed and ease of use, I recommend use of a basketry start for beginners.

When learning to make a button basket, or a basket "from nothing," i have found the best way to learn to make a button is to focus on only that skill. Work on the button ONLY, until the technique is mastered. A student with several successful baskets under her belt will be more able to focus on the task at hand, without worrying about "what comes next." When i teach this skill, allot 2 hours, and encourage students to make at least 2 buttons AFTER they feel like they have mastered the technique. This provides the added bonus of having three baskets "ready to coil."

I would love to hear how you feel about making buttons and using basketry starts. Next post will be on different kinds of prepared basketry starts. Please leave a positive comment here for everyone to read! Thanks

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Natural Selection" at LabourLove Gallery, Durham, NC

Opening this Friday at LabourLove Gallery, Durham, "Natural Selection," an exhibition featuring 5 Eastern North Carolina Artists, including Pamela Zimmerman.

Gallery Reception/Open House is Friday, November 20, from 6 -9pm, with artists in attendance.
Exhibition will run until January 15. Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 7 pm.

For more information read about it online, or join LabourLove Gallery's Facebook Fan Page

LabourLove Gallery can be found at
Durham, NC, 27701
phone: (919) 373-4451

newspaper review in the Chronicle