I have been making baskets since we moved to Melbourne six years ago. Basket weaving comes natural to me; maybe because my mother was a basket weaver. I made quite a few of them in different styles and colours. The materials used are mainly recycled or re purposed and some are grown in our garden. The first basket every beginner basket maker makes is a melon basket (egg basket). It's a basic basket formed with handle, ribs, spokes and weavers.
Today I will show you the melon baskets I made using varieties of fibres and materials. I have given a lot of them away, but luckily I took photos of them before I did.
The above basket made using grapevines for handle, cane for ribs and spokes and hand dyed canes for God eye (the green square at the base of the handle) and red hot poker leaves for weavers. I kept this one for myself. I love it!
Believe it or not, this basket is also made using melon basket technique. The only difference is that it doesn't have a handle. I weaved it with quilting fabric torn into strips and alternatively I added hand dyed cane to strengthen it. I store my bead jars in this basket.
Here are more melon baskets. I kept the top 3 baskets and the bottom 3 were given away as gifts. The colour of the plant fibres changed slightly with aged, but the shape will still be the same. My basket is very strong. I was told that I'm a tight weaver. In the long run, it is better to weave it tight because plant fibres shrink with age.
Next time I will show you a basket over a mold, stitch basket, plaid basket, garlic basket, scallop basket and miniature baskets. If you live locally and are interested in taking lessons in basket weaving, please visit Basketmakers of Victoria website for more information.