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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Harlequin Hedgerow Baskets

I'm the sort of person that needs to practice something before I forget it, so after the basket course I went out to find wild hedgerow growth that would be suitable for simple baskets


So over the past couple of trips out I've been gathering bits and pieces like dogwood, willow, dog rose and bramble all with the intention of invention!



Start with the base in the usual way


Upright stakes added and begun weaving with the 3 rod wale, now this is were I started to differ from conventional teaching, instead of adding 24 stakes I only put in 12, the reason is simple, the first basket I made took 8 hours, way too long to be of much use in the field, so I cut the uprights down in number to half and this saved time and resources


First hedgerow basket I made  (on the left) was done with 24 uprights and french randing, total time to make was 4 hours, not bad but I still want something faster, so next one made was the one on the right using just 12 uprghts and english randing, this I found much more convenient for hedgerow materials as it's difficult to get very uniform lengths and thicknesses from the wild, the weave is not as neat but it's faster, this one was made in 2 1/2 hours, I nicknamed them "Harlequin baskets" due to the colours and mix of different materials used in their construction.


Last one made was the slightly bigger one in the middle using 12 uprights and English Randing, total time to make 1 1/2 hours!!! Now I'm very happy with this, the right amount of time to make using natural materials in a simple fashion, they may make most professional basket makers blanch but I just want something simple and easy, when Bushcrafting it should always be FUNCTION OVER FORM!! They also seem plenty strong enough, I actually sat on the small one and if it can take my weight it must be tough!! The good thing about the English randing is that the lengths of material can be quite small yet still usable and if I need to repair one or if it shrinks and I need to add extra weavers in it should be simple enough..
My lovely wife actually stole the big one and put a pot plant in it, so I know I've done something right if she lets me put something I've made on public display!!

3 comments:

  1. They look great. Think I'll be giving that a go soon. Thanks for posting.

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  2. Lovely! I am always in need of a pretty little basket, usually when I want to give a gift in a functional vessel...a collection of home-canned/baked goods, etc. Form AND Function, I'd say.

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  3. Something I have scheduled, but oh so many projects...have to tidy up my calendar a bit to fit that in;-). Anyway, a great inspiration again!

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