As I did a lot of research about willow, I visited lots of Danish web-sites showcasing very beautiful, unique, and artistic works of art - most often displaying an unbelievable range of colors due to the bark on the willow. During that process and later on, after I had planted my first field, I felt that my knowledge of willow would be missing something if I didn't know how to weave a basket. I started to search for willow basket making classes in Ontario, but became very discouraged as I could not find anything - not a willow grower, not a teacher, not an interest group, no on-line willow forums.
So I decided to make a trip to Denmark to visit family and at the same time take in a two day class to make a basket.My first weaving experience was at a week-end course with Anne Folehave who is one of Denmark's most experienced and accomplished basket makers and teachers.
The image of the oval basket is from Anne's site.
The Danish willow weavers association "Pileforenigen" has an excellent web-site with lots of links for those interested in more.
I finished the basket and brought it home as "carry on" on the plane. The sun and the rusty colour in one of my sedums are really highlighting the basket here.
Well, through my membership in the Danish willow weaver's association I contacted a member in West Virginia who referred me to a willow grower and weaver in South-western Ontario. What I could not find through the internet I was lead to through a Danish association - isn't that just wonderful!!
Monday and Tuesday last week I went to visit Frances for the second time and this time we were going to make baskets together. She is very knowledgeable and experienced in weaving baskets and she now became my second teacher.
These baskets are made from "wild" willow collected in nature. The rods have been dried and then soaked before use to become flexible again so they can be woven without breaking.
And here it is, my second basket. And yes, it is obvious that it is the work of a beginner - but, hey I made it.