Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Willow basket weaving – baskets on a Catalan base

After a wonderful day making Tatza baskets, Saturday and Sunday were a two-day class on baskets on a Catalan base taught by Danish basket maker Anne Mette Hjornholm.2013-07-20

Once again we started out in the barn working on the Catalan base for our baskets. The Catalan base is  beautiful and very versatile and baskets were made of different designs from a large, beautiful oval basket to purses of various shapes and weaving techniques.


Later we moved out to work in the shade of our old weeping willow and the heat wasn’t quite as unbearable there.


By the end of the day you feel kind of “sticky” and Anne Mette and Jane decided to go for a swim in the lake. You can barely see their heads as two little, black dots in the picture.



In addition to the willow weaving experience of this class old friends enjoyed the opportunity to spend time together doing one of the things that they like - making willow baskets – while chatting and exchanging news.

Everyone had a great time learning new skills and enjoying each other’s company.



Most of us chose to make a purse during this class and here is an example of an open, fitched purse.

Other purses had a closed weave and patterns were created using different weaving techinques and different willow varieties for colour:



Really, working and creating with willow is absolutely wonderful

Monday, July 29, 2013

Willow basket weaving one o' one

Anne Mette Hjornholm was here from Denmark to teach willow basket weaving again last week - and we were not disappointed! In fact, just like last year everyone was thrilled about her abilities to cater to each individual person's needs as we all are at different levels of experience. 

Day one making Tatza baskets

The Tatza basket - also called a Polish bread basket - is a beautiful flat basket that can be varied in many ways. These are made using 6 x 6 willow rods of just one variety of willow and a small star of 6 x 2 rods appear in the center. Made with two or more varieties of willow with different colored bark the basket will appear quite different. It can also be varied by choosing another number of rods or by weaving another path of the rods in the center. 
The day was hot and after having assembled rods for our first baskets, we soon migrated from the barn to the lawn underneath our old weeping willow. For some magical reason there always seems to be a cooler breeze in the shade there - coming from Lake Erie just across the road. 
As we were working on our second baskets Anne Mette was able to keep an eye on all of us from the swing at the center of the tree. A wonderful start to 6 days of weaving.
Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.