Monday, November 29, 2010

Basket Making

While cruising down my MooseBoots path, I have been fascinated by arts and creative endeavors.  I do not consider myself artistic in the least, but find myself drawn (hee, hee, hee, pun clearly intended) to things like drawing, carving, and ... basket making.  Of course, I don't normally do things the easy way or the "traditional way" of easing into new skills.  I dive right in.

Over the spring and summer, I worked on gathering materials and building skills for making a basket.  Of course, it was and on again, off again project.  Most of the basket itself was made with Aunt Tammy in my thoughts.  I finished the weaving part the day she died, so really there is a lot of her in there.  Over the summer, I found some material for the rim and finished the project.

The basket is made with Iris and Lily leaves and a small piece of cattail cordage in the bottom to hold things together.  The rim is made from a hardwood slat we got from a business in a local industrial park.  The top finish piece and the binding cords are basswood cordage that I twisted myself.  Here are the finished photos of my very first basket.

I find great peace in working artistically, in spite of my clear lack of skill.  I also decided that my baskets would probably come out better with purchased materials that are dimensionally uniform ... of course, if you are here, you know that that is NOT what I am about and it is NOT how I work.  My MooseBoots journey is really about connecting with Nature and the Earth.  As such, I can't think of a better way to gather materials.  Maybe the next one will be a little better.


  1. Despite your humble disclaimer of having no skill, your basket is lovely! I love the fact that it is made of iris and lily leaves,the green colours match the colour of the heart, which is the place you wove it from, as you thought of your aunt. As an artist myself ( I taught painting, love to photograph), I can tell you that it is an artistically beautiful piece - well done!

    We have two very talented basket makers in our area, and I'm always amazed at how they can take natural materials and weave these wonderful creations. One of my favourite pieces is a small "dish" I use for my earrings, which is woven entirely of sweetgrass....

    Thank you, again, for taking the time to share!

  2. I love your basket, and I think it's beautiful and that it couldn't have been any better with "bought" materials. I love how it's made with the leaves of the irises and lilies that are right outside - the ones I grew from ones your mom gave me, and that the irises and lilies are the first plants we planted in our yard after we moved into our house ;).

    I didn't remember that you'd finished it the day Aunt Tammy died. It certainly has a lot more significance knowing that bit of information ;).

  3. The basket looks great! I tried making one not too long ago out of cat tail leaves...errrr... didnt look as good as yours.

  4. Nice! I like it a lot. I've been keeping my eye out for some willow or dogwood for basket material, but no luck so far. Nice-looking cordage too, btw.

  5. Leigh, thank you. I might try cat tail leaves. I think they would be a bit more rigid than the iris and lily leaves. I admit that I did watch a bunch of Youtube videos by Basket Master Nancy prior to starting.

  6. Graham, thank you. I saw some "Red Willow" (a.k.a. Red Osier Dogwood, Cornus sericea) on the Haigis Parkway last year. It was on the end toward Cabela's on the right hand side of the road coming from the turnpike. I am not sure it is still there, but if you are in the area .... Good luck.

  7. Julie, I know I already commented, but it had gone missing .... Regardless, thank you for your kind comments. I have been wanting to make baskets for a while ... I guess it is part of my awakening?!

  8. Wendy, I am amazing how these "craft" projects really collect a piece of us. That day was a blur ... there was a lot going on.


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