As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was talked into demonstrating basket weaving at the up-coming Jamesport "Heritage Days" festival. Well, I have finally finished the first little basket. It's a bit on the rough side, compared to the baskets I've made in the past using pre-prepared, bought reed. I guess I should say it is "rustic"!
These first two photos are of my little basket under construction. Lashing is done and first ribs are in place and it is ready to weave.
And here it is completed. Well, it still needs a few finishing touches, but I will let it dry out completely before I finish filling in those few little spaces that need it.
I have to say, using the willow is a lot harder on the fingers than using bought reed. I don't know if it is because I haven't made a basket in so long or what, but I don't remember my fingers ever being so raw and sore before. However, I must also say that I am especially pleased with the end results. There is just something very rewarding about having cut the materials from my own tree off my own land and seeing it go from some willow branches and twigs to a useful product.
I am debating about selling this little basket. I really need to get some made for the festival...but don't think I can part with my very first one!