A few odds and ends…
I’m on fall break. That means that I get to spend three weeks doing what I want to do with my time. What I want to do is make stuff. It always takes the first few days to find my stride. I haven’t yet, but here’s a highlight or two.
A few weeks ago I ordered a kit (actually just materials and instructions) from The Basketmaker’s Catalog. I hate kits, but I didn’t have the slightest notion about how to get started. I’m glad that I got it.
The bakset is round and has a double spoked bottom. I had no trouble getting started and most of the piece went together in a couple of hours. I dove right into the rim and handle and made some too-late-to-work-but-I-want-to-have -this-finished mistakes and put it aside. Over the last two days I’ve unmade, made and unmade mistakes again. This time I was awake and alert and have a good grap about how things should go together.
I’m quite pleased and a handful of folks have shown interest in learning how to make a similar basket. I’m not qualified to teach basket weaving, but it sure would be fun to dive in with a group of friends!
The reed that modern baskets are made from is not the same material that was used to make traditional midwest baskets. Traditional baskets were made from riven ash or oak. The emerald ash borer has endangered traditional basket making. I’m not sure of the source for modern basket reed. If anyone does, I’d love to hear from you. I cannot imagine a reed or grass growing 24 feet tall!
We live in a house buil;t in 1889 for a superintedent for the gas company. It’s a simple one-story vernacular house like most others on the street. I’ve been building kitchen cabinets for many years. As I install these cabinets we remove the beautiful (but painted and painted and painted) sycamore baseboards, plane and dress them and use them as drawer fronts. They have loads of age, character and color.
I removed the last piece this week. It was about twelve feet long and eight inches wide. Try as I might I couldn’t imagine an elegant way to transport the board to the woodshop in the Judge Stone House. It dawned on me this morning that it would not be difficult to strap the piece to the side of my bike. I gave it a go and it worked like a charm. I’ll be carrying all kinds of long loads in the future!
As promised, yesterday, I have a give away to celebrate my 200th post (wow!). I apologize for not following through yesterday. I had some dental work (It wasn’t really that bad) and hay fever that kind of threw me for a loop. I’m better now, but face at least four more trip to the dentist (He tells meit won’t hurt.)
I’ve a Shaker box that I made during our last class. It’s fine, but not my best work. When demonstrating my focus is on keeping the class moving and on ensuring student success. My work suffers from rushing and lack of attention to detail. I am offering this simple, unfinished, slightly crooked cherry and white pine Shaker oval box/basket/tote to the first who lets me know that they want it. I don’t promise quick shipping. I’m preparing for an adventure next week and it may have to wait until my return.
More on that later!