We have a nice selection of Katherine’s willow baskets displayed in our barn at Dunbar Gardens right now. If you’re in the area, come by for a look. If not, enjoy the photo! If you’re curious about buying a basket, you can always check our website for the baskets we have currently made for sale here. Baskets can always be made to order. Check out this page on our website for more details. If you want to know where we are, here is a map.
Every few months Katherine gets a request for a bassinette. Usually the parents make the request during the pregnancy, so that the basket is there when needed. This one was made at the last minute, but came out quite lovely. This bassinette was ordered by a good friend as a thank you gift. It was ordered for a couple who had a very small baby girl born a little early. The friend figured that the baby would be able to use the basket for quite a few months so she went ahead and asked Katherine to make it. It was her thanks to the family for their helping hand to her own son who had moved near them for work. For a look at another bassinette see this earlier blog post: Bassinette.
Katherine has donated this willow bicycle basket to a benefit auction for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, “advocates for a bike-friendly Washington”. She was asked to donate by Liz McNett Crowl the coordinator of Skagit County Physical Activity Coalition. Nothing makes a bike more friendly than a basket! (I guess that means we’re advocating for friendly bikes in a bike friendly place.)
Katherine has been working on her version of a basket to attach to the front handle bars. She decided an oval shape would work best for a variety of handles and front cables. She has woven it with four slots to give some flexibility on how it is attached. It comes equipped with two adjustable straps with quick release buckles which makes it convenient to remove from the bike.
She also put two side loops on the basket for attaching an adjustable shoulder strap. You can remove the basket from the bike and conveniently carry it with you into a store or library, for example. The base, stakes, and border are made from peeled ‘buff’ willow which makes it fairly light weight. The side can be woven from one of the attractive colors of willow we grow; in this case a nice red.
When shopping for a bike basket, pay close attention to the number of stakes in the basket, and how the border is attached. There are a lot of cheaply made wicker baskets being sold for bicycles.
Better to buy a well made willow basket that can be a friend for life.
Katherine recently won the Grand Champion ribbon in the professional basket maker division of the home arts competitions at the Puyallup Fair, or officially the Western Washington Fair. She won the blue ribbon in the wickerwork category and the overall winner. This year the fair ran from September 11-27 and had well over a million visitors. In recent years, entries in the basketry categories had been dropping; so members of the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild made an effort to encourage participation this year. Katherine was fortunate to have Vicky Nickelson transport her basket to and from the fair. In case weavers are interested, the basket was made from Salix purpurea ‘nana’.