Just a little update on the exchange. As of now, the following people have signed up:
Ruth Anne Danger
Karyl Jo Hartsog
Already nine participants! This is going to be a fun exchange. There have been some questions about the rules.
Q1. Is it okay to use a gourd for a start?
A1. Yes. It needs to be less than 6" in diameter, and 50% of the finished basket needs to be coiling.
Q2. Does my "start" have to be asymmetrical?
A2. No. It is easier to coil an asymmetrical basket when starting with an asymmetrical start, but that's not absolutely necessary. It is always possible to start with a perfectly round start and, as Waldena said, "bend the coil in an odd direction" to make it become asymmetrical. It is easier to coil an asymmetrical basket if the start has more than one level, is dramatically twisted or crosses "planes." For instance, an irregularly shaped start that is flat will probably round out into a round basket very easily, but one with upturned edges is easier to coil up on one side and down on the other.
Here are some examples of baskets that ARE NOT very ASYMMETRICAL, although they started with an asymmetrical start
In each of these cases, the basket smoothed out to become symmetrical.
Here is an example of a basket where the maker intentionally emphasized the asymmetrical-ness. One side of this shell was already turned upwards ,and the coiler followed the curve.
Here is an example of a pottery base with a dramatically upturned edge, which is easily "followed" to make a basket asymmetrical...but the curve does not HAVE to be this dramatic, even a slight upturning can give the "cue" to do something different. Once a coil is laid that is different from the rest of the coils, it can grown into a lovely "wobbly" basket.
It was also pointed out to me that although i have asymmetrical bases and ones with upturned edges in my MakeABasket etsy shop, that they are not easy to find with a search. I appreciate the suggestion, and have tagged many of my bases with upturned edges with the tag "asymmetrical." If you are looking for a base with an upturned edge, you can search using that term and they will pop up.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask. You can either pose them to the list as a whole (some other people are bound to have the same question as you,) or you can send them to me.