Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Did you know?

That the word “basket” comes from the Welsh “basgawd” meaning “a weaving of sticks.”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stateline Friends Weaving Retreat

Last week was the fabulous Stateline Friends Weaving Retreat in Richmond, IN. This was my second year having a vending booth there. While I didn't sell as much as I wanted I had a great time and got a lot of weaving done. I will have to post some photos of the baskets later (when I complete them!). I don't sell a lot of different items. They are just some of the specialty tools that I use that are either hard to find or that I make myself.
I brought with me, hand stamped cards, basketmaker's oil, padded aluminum push pins, miniature cable ties (the smallest you will ever see), MoldBand (a great alternative to rubber bands for holding down staves to a mold), Handle Minders (a special tool I created to help with perfect handle placement on a Nantucket or other baskets), basket easels, glass display domes and risers, and some new hand stamped tile coasters. Of course I also featured my special floor weaving stands.
This year was the largest group they have had at the retreat with I think about 350 weavers and a couple dozen vendors, teachers and volunteers. This was only their fifth year and they just do an incredible job of running the event. I am already looking forward to next year and may even apply to teach a class (Eeeek, I am scared!).
All the classes are held in one large open room with the vendors lining the outside walls. As a vendor it is great as I get to see everything that is going on and get to see all the great baskets as they are woven. Fred Kohler had his work table set up next to me and we had a great time chatting and discussing Nantucket baskets. I also got to visit with many other weaving buddies during the 3-day event.

Now back to finishing those baskets!

One Year Anniversary!

Shoot, I missed my one year anniversary of blogging. I can't believe I have already been doing this for a year. My original goal was to post something once a week, but I didn't make it. Though 43 posts isn't too bad, pretty close to 4 posts a month.

Thanks for all the positive feedback and words of encouragement throughout the year!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shaker Boxes

Not only do I love baskets, but I also love Shaker boxes. I have a number of finely made boxes that I have purchased at art fairs. I would love to make a set myself and keep promising that I will take a workshop sometime from the "father" of modern Shaker boxes, John Wilson. Of course my schedule has yet to match up with one of his classes, but one of these days...

I ran across this blog describing a woodworking group that gets together every year to make the boxes. It is a good primer on the steps it takes to make a box and a handled carrier. While box making would seem to be fairly different from basket weaving they do share a number of similarities. They both utilize bending and drying wood around forms. Much of what you would learn in a box class could be translated into making basket rims and handles or vice versa.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stateline Friends Weaving Retreat

I have be busily preparing to vend next week at the Stateline Friends Weaving Retreat. I am such a terrible procrastinator, but think I am about ready to go. If you haven't been before the retreat is a great experience. It is in a small town on the boarder between Indiana and Ohio, in Richmond, IN and runs Thursday, April 15th until Saturday, April 17th. I will be vending all three days so be sure to stop by and say "hi". There will be a bunch of other vendors as well so you should be in for a real treat even if you are only coming to shop. If you are lucky enough to be taking classes, you are in for a treat.

OK, I have to get back to work now. Hope to see you next week!

Friday, April 9, 2010

2010 Martha Wetherbee Workshop

I am very excited to announce that I will again host 2 very special classes with Martha Wetherbee this year. For over 30 years Martha Wetherbee has devoted her life to preserving the art of Shaker basketry and other American "signature style" baskets such as the Nantucket lightship basket. Credited with rescuing the art of Shaker basketmaking from extinction, Martha travels the country lecturing on the history of the Shakers and teaching others how to create these historically significant and beautiful baskets. I hope you can join Martha and me for one or both of these exciting and fun classes.

Nantucket Signature Basket
2" to 16" dia.

Thursday, Friday & Saturday
June 24-26, 2010
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Join Martha to start or add to a set of nested Nantucket baskets. New participants will start with the #10 (10" diameter) basket. Weavers who have completed the #10, #12 and #14 will have their choice of either the #6 or #8 and when feeling ambitious can make the #4 or #16 and finish with the #2 and #0. All baskets feature a cherry handle, rim and base, staves of hand pounded brown ash, and cane weaving. The beautiful handles are attached with a "hidden hinge" and unique cherry "ear" which sports a marquetry of contrasting wood where the basketmaker can put his or her monogram, hence the "signature" basket. Class fee includes all materials, handouts and use of mold, weaving stand and tools.

Instructor: Martha Wetherbee
Intermediate/Advanced Weaving Levels

#0 (2") - $290#2 (3") - $360#4 - $395#6 - $420
#8 - $450#10 - $475#12 - $525#14 - $565#16 - $610

Bushwhacker Basket
#3 (4" diam.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Sunday, June 27, 2010
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

#3 (4") Bushwhacker basket in fron of past year's #5 and #7.

A basket style made in west Taghkanic, New York, commonly referred to as "Bushwhacker" is an example of an American Signature basket design, as unique as the more-recognizable Shaker or Nantucket style. While researching the Shaker baskets, Martha found that the Bushwhacker baskets were made by three families of basket makers living in Columbia County, New York, just 25 miles from the Mt. Lebanon Shaker village. Made from hand-pounded brown ash, this swing-handled (or side ear-handled) basket has a bump bottom and is shaped over a series of molds. The class fee includes all materials, handouts and use of mold, weaving stand and tools.

Instructor: Martha Wetherbee
All Weaving Levels

(during the class students will have the choice of either a swing-handle or side ear-handles)

Contact: Tony Stubblefield
if you would like to receive registration information