Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tree to Basket

I have always heard about going "from tree to basket," but this was my first chance to actually do it!

Joel and Dawn Simpson came to give the Natural Fibers Group a workshop, and brought a bunch of white oak logs to split into basketry materials.

What a great time we had!

Everyone took turns splitting the logs, and splitting and splitting. Easy enough for two people to handle, especially with the great tools Joel makes for this special purpose!

We all particularly enjoyed the great big caveman style clubs, hand-whittled by Joel from very pieces of log that were just "not right" for splitting!

After peeling the growth rings apart,

scraping them smooth, and cutting them to width,

we laid out simple bases and each person wove a small oak work basket!

These very sturdy, slightly rustic baskets are perfect for collecting eggs or berries, and could last for a hundred years, even with daily use. The next day, we made small baskets of hand-pounded ash, constructed over molds.

Here are a few of the classes' finished baskets. Aren't they beautiful???!!!


Midnightcoiler said...

Great blog entry, Pamela! It was a wonderful workshop with lots to learn. Gives a real appreciation for the work that goes into baskets like this. The preparation of materials alone can take days. We hope to have the Simpsons come back next year.

niftyknits said...

This is fascinating - great to follow the project through from tree to finished basket.

My Mother's Garden said...

Wow! This was a really interesting post! I enjoyed seeing and reading about the whole process of basket making. Looks like it was a great workshop!
Happy day~ Karrita