Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Experiments with Basket Weaving

I belong to a lovely textile art group - we meet once a month and have workshops from visiting tutors and try out all sorts of different techniques.  At the last session we looked at different traditional basket making techniques.  We were shown how to make simple woven baskets from paper - I had a go at home with strips cut from a paper carrier bag.  It was a bit fiddly but I was chuffed when I finally got them to hold together!

I have long admired the little baskets made by SewDanish on Etsy - I am even more in awe now I know how fiddly they are - hers are so much neater than mine!  I think I need more practise.  A lot more practise.

Basket by SewDanish
Basket by SewDanish

During the session on Saturday I worked on using a traditional knotting technique - not to make a basket, but to cover a rather nice piece of driftwood I had in my bag.  And of course I had to add a few of my favourite shells...  I really enjoyed this, it was a very calming process and I'm pleased with the result.  Makes a nice sound when you shake it too!

The coloured thread is all waxed linen thread.  It is a bit strange and sticky to work with but makes really satisfying knots, and I love the subdued colours.  There is a bit of a problem with this stuff though; it is apparently made in Northern Ireland - it says 'Crawfords Belfast' as clear as anything on the label - and yet it seems you can only buy it in the US.  It's not cheap and by the time you've added on shipping, VAT and the good old Royal Mail handling fee it's going to be exorbitant.  So if anyone knows where you can get it this side of the pond do please please let me know.


  1. Gorgeous work. I love the baskets and the colours of your weaving.

  2. your basket looks great to me :o)
    Love the driftwood.
    {Dab and a dash.}

  3. I think your two baskets are great. You should be proud of your self :-)Isn't it just superb creating such lovely baskets from a humble brown bag!
    I think this is such a wounderful technique that can be explored and stretched in SO many ways. I love making baskets!!! Thank you so much for this lovely feature. That is very kind of you and I really appreciate it!
    Have a lovely day.

  4. I really like your piece of drift wood and the baskets. Another 'thing' I could so get into.I have Ruth Lees book on 'three-dimensional textiles' out of the library at the moment. Only to look, I will not try it!! I envy you your course. Sorry the spider got you, but perhaps it will help with the phobia.


Helen Smith, artist and maker in glass, print and stitch.


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