Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A West Coast Basket

[PhotoThe collective work of the
whole class]
I seem to have been bitten by the basket bug. I am supposed to be focusing on spinning, but rationalized learning basketry to find out more about west coast fibres that were used in spinning and weaving. Things like spinning cedar bark. SO, this basket making is just a waypoint on my route. A pleasant foray, I must admit.

This workshop, taught once again by Joan Carrigan (see also the post below on the Cat's Head Basket) was a study in Pacific Northwest materials and techniques. We used red cedar for the framework, yellow cedar for a bit of twining, willow and wild cherry bark, and bear grass and scrirpus americanus -- sedges have edges.
Techniques included plain over-and-under weaving, also twill, plaiting, twining, reverse twining and using twining to give different effects. To top it off, (pun intended) we did a tricky rim using a technique Joan had learned from the Lummi First Nation in Puget Sound.
[PhotoA living willow fence.  Photo from the Vegetable Gardener]
Joan told us a funny story about a famous aging rock star, a living woven willow fence and a basketry mentor she has in France. While studying with him, he took her to the estate of this rock start where he was employed to create and care for a living woven willow fence for this famous rock star. After ten years, the basketry/fence mentor suggested to the aging rock star that the fence be taken down and started from scratch again as the fence was getting too overgrown and showing its age. At which the aging rock star, in a dead-pan, not-to-be-argued-with voice replied ' Aren't we all'. And that was the end of that conversation.

No comments:

Post a Comment