I have long endured the playful teasing of family and friends about my slightly hippie leanings. That's why I didn't share with ANY of them about my basket making class. So I will blog about it safely here,now,and when they see my cool basket?.. They're gonna love it!
I was glad for the beautiful weather on this particular day as we enjoyed having an outdoor class hosted by Kookoolan Farms. Kookoolan Farms is a wonderful local family farm where you can find pasture raised organic chickens, eggs, raw milk and other goodies. Their cheesemaking classes are really popular in the area. I'm thinking homemade mozzarella, mmmm.....another class!
Our instructor, Margaret Mathewson of the Ancient Arts Center, also an adjunct professor of Oregon State University, begins by teaching us about the gathering, stripping and soaking of the willow bark. Basically,basket making starts with the same method most of us learned as children when we plaited construction paper strips. It's the same concept. I felt safe at this point. Until I started to weave the sides. Oh no,all I could see was a bunch of pokey strips going everywhere. And I was supposed to make some sense of all that? Ugh.
Just a scant three hours later, I finished my pouch type basket. I was thrilled! But not so much about my basket as knowing that my brain, when coaxed, can still learn somethin' new.
At the beginning of class I was told we would have enough time to make two baskets, the pouch type and a flat bottomed one. I was happy just to finish my pouch one!
This nice lady was our star student. She already made her pouch basket and was finishing up a flat bottomed one here. I was walking around massaging my fingers and rubbing the kinks out of my neck.
We enjoyed a nice little lunch prepared by Farmer Chrissie. Saffron Chicken over puff pastry, tossed greens, and homemade ice cream. All using Kookoolan Farms organically grown meats, veggies and raw milk products. Delightful.
My finished basket.
Not bad for a beginner. See those little holes? Their not supposed to be there. Basketry takes a fair amount of hand strength (and brain strength). You are constantly tugging and clipping,to keep it all snug.
When I got home I was checking out the limbs of the old walnut tree out back of our place. I still want to make the flat bottom basket. Soon,before I forget.