Saturday, June 13, 2009

Black and White Basket

This basket was woven using a puzzle mold and kit from Marlys Sowers of Iowa. Marlys' husband Jeff turned the base, lid and one-piece rim which were dyed black using India ink (something I had never heard of doing before). The staves alternate between natural and dyed flat oval reed and it was chase woven with natural and dyed Hamberg cane.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this basket was to weave. Because of the shape of the puzzle mold the staves did have to be tapered on both ends which took some extra time, but setting up the base was as easy as alternating between the two colors (Marlys recommended gluing the staves into the base, but I never do that on my Nantucket style baskets so omitted that step myself). While the weaving pattern looks like it would be complicated, after weaving the first row where I had to count each "stitch", all subsequent rows were just a matter of following the pattern below. The contrast between the natural and black makes this a truly striking basket.

I also purchase another smaller mold and with a cherry wood lid and staves kit along with another cherry lid and rim set for the larger mold. While the kits are not inexpensive the materials are of superior quality and the resulting baskets unique additions to any collection.