Monday, November 19, 2012

My First Basket

Here's my first basket, a market basket, which I made in a basket making workshop this past weekend at The Garden Shed. The basket is 18 inches long, 13 inches tall at the handle, and 7 inches deep in the basket portion. This is a great size basket to carry vegetables at a farmer's market or from the vegetable garden into the home. Following are more photos from the workshop.

When I am weaving with my hands with either clay or reed I feel connected to ancient peoples and history. I like the fact that basket making and pottery have been around for such a long time and each craft can be both utilitarian and decorative.

The other thing about pottery and basket making is they can either be made alone or in groups and they can be shared and exchanged. They can be simple or complicated to make depending upon the maker's mood and preference.

The maker has a choice of materials, style, and color; each basket or piece of pottery has their own personality and the mark of the maker.

 Here's our group hard at work. Our basket making teacher, Ralph Fleming, is on the right.

This is the basket Ralph, our teacher, brought as an example for us. Notice the difference in the color of the basket and the rolls of reed below it. The basket has been stained with an oak stain which preserves the reed and gives it some color. I have to decide how to stain my basket. I may white wash mine I'd like to keep it a lighter color.

I want to make this shape of basket next. Of course you know I'll be researching all the different types of baskets, their histories, the materials, and their uses. I'd also like to try using palm fronds in a basket. And then there are those sweetgrass baskets I saw in South Carolina a few years back which were so fragrant. I have ideas about incorporating found objects and clay beads into a basket and incorporating some basket material with clay pieces too. There are Native American inspired baskets and Nantucket style baskets which inspire me. And I'm particularly drawn to Asian style baskets made of reeds or bamboo.

I'm wondering how to make a round shaped basket. From there I think I can branch out on my own making baskets. One good thing about basket making is I can stop at any time and set the basket aside to work on at a later time. With clay I have to keep going while I am making something. Baskets are lightweight but pottery is heavy, but both are useful and can last for years. I can see many a creative hour being spent making baskets. Up next I'm 'steppin out with a new plate(s) design, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Nice Basket. Looking forward to seeing more.

  2. Hi Suzi, thanks, it was fun and it was just like the first time I made something in clay, mesmerizing and so easy to loose yourself in the process.

    Hi Dennis, thanks, I can't wait to make more of these I have so many ideas and I think working with basketry will stimulate me working with clay, hand in hand they go.

  3. Very nice basket but I think it look difficult.


  4. Hi Linda, Thanks for the sweet comments you left on my blog over at Basketmaster's Weavings! That always makes my day. Your basket turned out lovely. Careful as basket weaving is addicting. ;-) I've been enjoying poking around your blog. You are a very creative and talented lady. Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings~Nancy

  5. Great to see the basket process. It's one of those wonderful crafts I've never tried. Your's is beautiful, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it for years. Now I'm waiting to see how this changes your clay basketry... ;)-

  6. Very nice basket. It sounds like you had a very enjoyable class too. I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this.

  7. Does not look like a one-day beginner project!
    Very nice.

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  9. wow, that's incredible! and yours is beautiful although it looks hard to make.

  10. I am so excited for you and this new endeavor! I really enjoy using handmade baskets and look forward to seeing your progress.

  11. Hi Elna, thanks, it wasn't too difficult, just have to pay attention to each weave otherwise it's easy to get off course.

    Hi Nancy, thanks, I just found out it can be addicting but satisfying too.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I hope to incorporate the two together somehow.

    Hi Lori, thanks, I am already thinking of making several style of baskets.

    Hi Gayle, thanks, out teacher really had to keep us on point for us to complete the project, he was good at that too.

    Hi Amy, thanks, it's really not that difficult but having the teacher right there helps, not sure I could do it by myself.

    Hi Michele, thanks, it is exciting to be able to add another dimension to my making repertoire.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment