Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happiness is....


Making bamboo baskets.

Like I mentioned the other day, I went to a Bamboo Basket workshop yesterday. It was an all day affair and was also wonderful!

There were 12 of us and most everyone was a first timer and made a random weave basket like mine a few days ago.
Here Jiro is giving a demonstration.

Because I had already made a random weave basket, I wanted to try something a bit different. This was I wanted to do. Linda had also been in the workshop a few weeks ago and also wanted to make one of these. Jiro said that was no problem.
First you start out by making a base with the hexagon weave,
Then you make three more for a total of four. The basket has four layers and the bases must all be made first. You then measure them all and chose the smallest one for the inside layer. A metal tool is heated up and applied at the edge of the hexagon base and the spokes are bent up. You only have to do this with the first layer because the bend is so sharp, if you don't use the hot tool, the bamboo will break.
Then you cut three pieces of thicker bamboo and place them in the base. This will hold you hexagon together while you start to weave. At this point, I got so into making the basket that I forgot to take any more pictures until it was almost time to go.
And here is where I got to. The first layer is complete and the second is started. When I got home, I continued to weave and have the second complete and the third layer almost done. One more layer and then the rim.
Here is my table mate Carol. She is an artist who was taking the workshop to see if she could incorporate basketry into her art. Alas, she has decided that basket weaving is not her thing.

But here is her basket. And what, pray tell, is the white stuff that is covering her basket? Gut. As in pig intestines. You know, like sausage casings. The stuff is amazing when it drys. It looks like hand made tissue paper. She says that it dyes beautifully. It has a bit of stretch to it and shrinks a bit when it dries. I will hopefully be able to get a look at this when it is dry.

And remember earlier in the week I said that I wanted to get two scarves woven and one fringed. Well, one is woven and fringed and the one I wanted to fringe is cut and knotted. So I managed to get half my goals finished. I was laid low with yet another head cold. Ugh.


DaviMack said...

Awesome! I must say that, when people say, "basket weaving," they're usually making fun - as if it were something easy, fluffy, and not challenging. This looks like TONS of fun!

Jo in Boston said...

Oh, that looks like so much fun! That basket is beautiful.

Valerie said...

oooh! Thanks for sharing the workshop photo's. You know, it's also possible to do decorative stitching on gut.

Margene said...

Love your basket! It looks like fun. I'd love to see the pig guts basket when it's dryed and perhaps painted or dyed.

Kansas A said...

That is so cool! Your basket looks great! I could think of a 101 uses for baskets around here :)

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Oh that's beautiful! I've always wanted to learn to weave baskets ... nice ones like that. Just never had the opportunity. Some day.