Background • The basket is one of humankind's oldest art forms, and it is certainly an ethnic and cultural icon filled with myth and motif, religion and symbolism, and decoration as well as usefulness. Basketry, in fact, encompasses a wide range of objects from nearly rigid, boxlike carriers to mesh sacks. • Some baskets are manufactured by machines, however part of the tradition is that baskets are defined as receptacles that are woven by hand of vegetable fibers. • Basketry exemplifies the creative use of materials for the environment and implies extensive knowledge of different materials and their natural properties. • Basketry has a communal meaning and function: mediate between humans and nature. • Basket making is a complex weaving skill that requires technical and creative expertise. Each weaver approaches the material in a different way. Basket weaving Is the hand-crafted method of creating woven baskets from natural grasses Raw Materials used in basket making include a wide range of plant fibers including roots, cane, twigs, and grasses; reeds, raffia, and basket willows may be the best known. Basket made in BAMBOO Basket made in RAFFIA Basket made in PAPER Basket made in RATTAN Basket made in CANE Tools • Work Board • Small Hand • Small/ Medium Bodkin (bradawl) • Shears • Round-nosed pliers • Side Cutters • Ruler for measuring. Basket Weaving Techniques Plaiting/ checkerwork Two elements are woven over and under each other at right angles. Twilled weave is much the same, except that the weft (horizontal) materials are woven over two or more warps (verticals). Wicker the basket-maker weaves the weft material over and under a stiff foundation or warp of rods or bundles of fiber. Basket Weaving Techniques Twining Twined work begins with a foundation of rigid elements, or warp rods—very often whole plant shoots—around which two, and sometimes three or four, weft elements are woven. The wefts are separated, brought around a stationary warp rod, brought together again, and twisted. Subtle and elegant patterns are made by changing the number of wefts (as in braiding and overlay), or the number of warps the wefts pass over (as in diagonal weaves). A weaver may use any number of twining variations in a single basket. Basket Weaving Techniques Coiling It begins at the center of a basket and grows upon itself in spiral rounds, each attached to the round before. Weaving coiled baskets is a sewing technique, as the basket-maker uses an awl to punch holes in the foundation through which she draws sewing strands. These strands are single pieces of plant fiber that have been trimmed to a uniform size. The foundation is made up of one, two, three, or sometimes more slender plant shoots, bundles of grass or shredded plant fibers, or a combination of grass and sticks. Basketry Bases • There are various ways of starting a base depending firstly on whether the shape is going to be oval, round or squared off. Weaving Reed Basket 1Make the base of the basket. 2 Bend the reeds. Bend the reeds that stick out from the square base into an upwards position. These bent reeds are called spokes. Bending them will make it easier to weave and these spokes will act as the supports for the basket. Weaving Reed Basket 3Split a center spoke. Split one end 4 Weave the basket of either the third or eighth spoke, starting where it comes out from under the last spoke to cross it. You will now have eleven spokes. You'll be putting the weaver into the split. Weaving Reed Basket 5 Foot the base. This means closing 6 Continue weaving. Keep attaching up those square holes that are still in the base. Starting in the left corner of your basket. and weaving new reeds through the spokes. Make sure that you don't pull too hard on the corners, because that will make your spokes bend inward and you'll lose your basket's shape. Weaving Reed Basket 7 Pack the base. Push or pull the woven rows down towards the base as you weave. Ensure that there is no space between the base and the rows. Start pressing or pulling from the base and move up to the newer reeds as you go. 8 Finish the top of the basket. Stop weaving your last reed after you have woven 4 spokes past the split spoke. Taper the reed with scissors, moving from the fourth spoke to the end of the reed. Weave until all of the final reed has been woven into the spokes. Weaving Reed Basket 9 Trim the basket. Cut the spokes with scissors. Fold the spokes towards the inside of the basket over the top row of reeds. Insert the end of each spoke into the third row from the top. Ensure that each spoke lies flat against the inside of the basket. 10 Make the rim. You'll wrap a reed around the top row of the basket and pin it to the basket with a clothespin. Now, anchor the new reed by weaving its bottom end into the top few rows inside the basket. This reed is called the lacer.