September 28, 2010

Rustic Melon Basket Workshop

I was at the Rustic Melon Basket workshop at the weekend. I have been a member of Basketmakers of Victoria (BOV) ever since we moved to Melbourne 6 years ago. I haven't been very active lately, but I have taken many great workshops with talented local basket makers and overseas visiting teachers. This weekend the workshop was with Pat Dale. Pat is an author of Basket & Weaving with natural materials (a copy can be obtained through BOV). This is my second workshop with Pat. There were 10 of us in the workshop and we had so much fun creating our piece of art work hoping to get it finished within 2 days...! 
A close-up image of the weaving texture. Some stitches of indigo thread added afterward.  
I got my frame up and started weaving with the rustic natural fibre and hand dyed indigo strings. The handle is from our grapevine coiled to achieve the circle for a frame. This is another structure of a melon basket.   It's another piece to add to my blue and white studio. 
The workshop was held in a stable at Wattle Park. The BOV is so lucky to have the use of the old stable. It's heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer so we can use it all the year round for workshops. 
I had almost finished it when I left at the end of the workshop. My aim was to get it finished knowing that I won't have time to work at it after that. I'm pleased with how it turned out. The shape and the colour is what I was hoping for. You can see the whole of the handle on the photo below. It's the biggest basket I've ever made. I can see it standing on the studio floor filled with balls of string.                     
Full size basket: the width is 41 x 30cm and high from the tip of the handle is 61cm
Show and tell is always fun at the workshop. On my second day I took in the basket I made for a past exhibition. All exhibit pieces have to be for sale and I  didn't want to sell this piece so I decided not to enter. I'm happy to still have it. It's my pride and joy to keep for my blue and white studio. 
Sample of Pat Dale's baskets. Pat uses interesting natural branches for the handles of her baskets. Her designs are created by the shape of the handles. 
Pat Dale is talking us through the process of basket construction. There were quite a few first time basket weavers on the day. It was quite daunting making a basket out of a pile of grapevines, sticks and leaves. It's an amazing process. By the end of the two days we achieved quite a lot and went home with our very own basket creation...!


23 comments:

Béa said...

OMG ! I never see basket like that : it's absolutely wonderful, you are very talented.

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Great basket - looks like a fun weekend.

QuiltSue said...

It looks like you had a great weekend.

kaite said...

must have been an excellent class with Pat, i'd love to be closer to the BOV. your basket looks just like you! cheers, kaite

Lis said...

I love the textures and colours in your basket, you are so talented, it's wonderful and will be a joy in your studio.

Grand Purl Baa said...

Again and again and again I am GOBSMACKED by ALL your talents.

Janet said...

Wow, that is another fantastic piece of art. I see it with balls of wool in it too. The materials used are the best part. I see lots of concentration on the faces in the workshop.

Maggey and Jim said...

Your work is awesome.. Love the rustic but all of your baskets are works of art..I really feel the handles set the baskets aside from others.
Maggey

deanna7trees said...

how beautiful. must be very satisfying to do that. is the indigo thread from your own dyeing experience? wondered if one could buy indigo dyed thread...

Nedra said...

What a fun basket, and you even wore an outfit to match!

ria vogelzang said...

What a lovely basket! You are really an artist!
I just love those cute baskets and always try to find them in second hand shops..... ;))
Enjoy those cuties!
Love, Ria.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Wow Wow Wow Nat...have never seen this process before...and what lovely baskets...and top colours too...Dzintra♥x

Astrid said...

What a gorgeous basket, Nat! I love the colors you have chosen. Can any vines be used for baskets? I cut some vines the other day, and actually I was thinking of you and basket weaving. :) Do you recommend Pat Dale's book for a newbie?

Ivory Spring said...

Natima - your basket is BEAUTIFUL!

Valentina said...

Oh Nat, you open a whole new world to me!
How amazing. I really love how your basket turned out. How clever to include the indigo threads! Great work!
:)

Dot said...

What a gorgeous basket Nat! Love the natural handle and the indigo thread. Looks like a lovely large size too. Looking forward to our catch up with Jacky - will be in contact soon to arrange details :)

Dot said...

P. S I think I ' need' to come along to one of these basket making days. Not sure how good I would be at making one though!

Terry said...

A great basket and as always some of home included in the grape vine handle.
Indigo stitching looks great. Was it decorative or structural?
Is the weaving supports cane or grape vien as well ?
Glad you enjoyed the workshop.

Karen said...

My kind of basket! Beautiful Nat!

Jacky said...

Nat your basket looks wonderful...love those colours and the handle. Wish I could have made it along to the class with you....hopefully Pat Dale will be teaching again and I can get along this time.

Your new studio is going to be beautifully decked out with your new indigo pieces.

Jacky xox

ParisMaddy said...

Nat...it's an exquisite basket. The shape is simply earthy and wonderful. I've never tried basket weaving but I did make a fabric coiled rag basket once. You have a real work of art. Brava.

Simone de Klerk said...

Wow, love the basket. And it is great to see how you ladies are working on it.

Needled Mom said...

Those baskets are just amazing! I would have loved to have been there for that class.

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