Here are a few baskets I’ve made, the one above is the most recent. Working with natural materials to create useful vessels whether they be clay or fiber is one of my favorite things to spend time on. Purchased materials or those collected straight from the land offer simple yet beautiful ways to keep things organized or haul in a crop.
It has been a hectic time with my mom in the hospital since last week and now getting PT in a rehab facility so I haven’t had as much time as I would like to organize for Christmas. So far, we have the tree up.
I love this basket for it’s many reasons. First it was made during a great week of primitive camping with friends. Second it’s where I keep the ‘in use’ garlic in the kitchen. It has a pleasing organic shape. Perhaps the thing I love most though is this basket is part of a lineage of utilitarian items that have been formed from land and hand alone. Knowing how to turn a tree into such a useful object is one of my little secret pleasures. Just being part of the long line of basket weavers through the ages is an honor…I’m certainly no master, but I know the skills and can continue perfecting them over time.
Regular readers will recognize this basket, which is beginning to show a lot of wear. I made this a few years ago to harvest berries. It has done a splendid job and holds a huge amount of berries. I love the large handle that easily slides over my arm and rests in the crook of my elbow while busily picking with both hands.
Traditional crafts like weaving baskets is very much a part of our Catskill heritage. One of our favorite books to read with our daughter is The Ox-Cart Man which is set in rural upstate NY not all that far from where I sit today. It is a lovely story and a Caledcott Medal winner (illustrations/ Barbara Cooney). If you have young people in your life and treasure simpler times and activities, find & read this book with them.
I hope your baskets are full of all good things today!