Friday, April 20, 2012

Mountain basketeering

I started the second Contextart workshop here in the Blue Mountains on Monday, and it finished today.  The tutors were Wendy Golden  and Jim Walliss, both with many years of basketry and teaching experience, and they not only generously shared their knowledge and skills with us, but were endlessly patient as well.  For me, it was a week of steep learning curves, and widely contrasting emotions, including tossing the basket across the verandah in frustration, a little foot stamping, and some rude words directed at the offending well as excitement and a sense of accomplishment when I "got it".   Most of the participants felt the same I think. The learning experience wasn't helped by very cold wet weather mid week, but the sun came out for us yesterday and today, and it finally felt like it was coming together for us by yesterday afternoon.

We started the week with some muehlenbeckia, a native creeper that we had to free form into whatever shape we wanted, or could manage....this definitely wasn't my forte, and neither of these finished forms are mine, which ended up looking like an Amazon's breastplate, and went back into the bundle for common use!

Day 2 we learnt to make a nice flate base of cane, and learning the techniques to build our basket, and shape it, gradually building up the sides.

 This is small, about 4 inches tall and is made up of cumbungi, a flat rush, tall spike rush, and finished with coloured cane.  I enjoyed making this, and found it easy to get into a weaving/twining rhythm. 

But then came the challenge...The Melon Basket!! 

Framework of twisted vines and cane with twining begun.

This is where I'm up to......this is a mixture of watsonia, meuhlenbeckia, banana, spike rush and the dark section I'm still weaving is gymea lily.

Busy Basketeers!

I'll have a quiet weekend now with my son and his partner, before heading off to Adelaide to meet up with a friend and some more holiday fun.

Enjoy your weekend everyone.


  1. An interesting collection of basket styles, good on you for pushing the envelope to find your own style. I have made melon baskets out of plastic bags too, the stiffer form of bag cut into strips.

  2. Sounds like you are having an interesting break.
    cold now over here - esp evenings.
    Enjoy your stay with your son and his partner!
    Love Leanne

  3. Hi Kaite, your plastic strips basket sounds interesting, I"d like to see that.

  4. Leanne, hello, nice to see you here. Yes, I'm having a nicely varied holiday.

  5. Nanette, your melon basket is beautiful. What a wonderful time you must be having!


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