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.
*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.