Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ribbed Basketry Tutorial: Part 3

BOW is just around the corner and I'm doing the final preparations for teaching my class. I have been busy dying fiber and organizing my gear to go. I will be leaving Friday morning and teaching my first class Saturday morning. Before I leave I thought that I'd post the last part of the ribbed basketry tutorial. I hope you enjoy it and if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment of contact me.
I will be posting my photos and some information regarding natural dyes soon. I have dyed jute using turmeric, tea, kool-aid, onion skin, red cabbage, crepe paper, and RIT dye. I will have a break down of all my techniques soon.

Feel free to check out parts one and two of this tutorial as well.


Ribbed Basketry Tutorial: Part 3
Making the Basket

Getting Started

Once you have your grapevine wreath separated into usable rounds select two of similar size to make your rim and handle. If you need to clean off extra vines and smooth them up a bit you will need to do this before you begin weaving. I like to leave some of the curly bits and smaller branches attached to add a rustic look. I try to keep it as natural as possible... but some people like a more uniform look.

Making the Basket's Ears

Who knew baskets had ears? And that you weave the ears by making god's eyes? Start by placing one hoop inside the other to form right angles. One hoop will form the rim of the basket and the other will form the handle. You will begin by weaving a god's eye where these two parts meet.

How to make a god's eye- Begin by wrapping the yarn in an x pattern over the intersection. This is just to hold them together as you begin the god's eye. Now begin the wrapping pattern. Hold the intersection with one hand while looping the weaver around the first stick one time. Push the loop you made right up against the weavers that you've already wrapped. Turn the cross 90 degrees to the right and wrap a loop around the next stick, taking care to push the weaver towards the center of the cross. Turn the cross 90 degrees to the right and repeat the loop on the next stick. Keep turning and looping until you are satisfied with the eye.

Adding the Ribs

Once you have a good sized god's eye formed you are going to begin adding the ribs to the basket. First you will need to decide the length that you want the ribs to be. To do this simply take the round reed and hold one end on the inside of one of the god's eyes and measure how long it needs to be to form either a flat or twin bottomed design. If you wish your basket to have a twin bottom the piece of reed will need to be a little longer than the center rib. If you wish to make a flat bottomed basket then it will be just a touch shorter than the center rib. Like most things there is a formula for this... but I tend to eyeball it rather than making it an exact science. Once you cut your ribs for one side of the basket you can simply make a matching one for the other. You will add the same number of ribs on each side of the center rib. Then you will tuck them into the god's eye as securely as possible. You might want to experiment at this point with how well the basket sits. Place it on a flat surface and see if it leans this way or that. It is easier to adjust the rib length before you start weaving.

Now you can begin to weave

Now you can cut a weaver 2 to 3 yards long and begin to weave. To do this you will simply run the weaver in and out of the ribs and when you reach the opposite side of the basket simply wrap the weaver around the rim and go the other direction. When your first weaver ends you will begin weaving again. This time starting at the opposite ear. You will go back and forth between the ears until you get to the middle of the basket. When ever you start a new weaver just begin where the last one left off and continue the pattern. You can change materials whenever you like to add texture and variety. Once you meet in the middle all that is left to do is snip off any ends and sit back and enjoy your new creation.

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