willow basket purse
Katherine has recently been working on making willow basket purses. (Or what do you call a small basket with a lid and a shoulder strap? Shoulder basket, hand basket, or purse?) Anyway, she had two inspirations for working with this form. She often carries a purse she made from red cedar bark around and inevitably gets asked if she sells those too. So she was thinking she ought to be wearing a willow basket.
She made the small square version from buff willow in the photo above. Next she made one a bit larger and using some green willow for the side weave. We decided this might make a nice camera basket; so we lined it with some foam padding. We will be adding these baskets to our selection at Dunbar Gardens.
Steve’s camera basket
Katherine has also been working with an oval version. It is a simpler basket with less stakes and simpler side weave. It might allow her to offer this basket as a two day class to intermediate skilled willow weavers with enough time for people to finish. Information about future classes will be posted on our website. Stay tuned.
oval version of basket purse
Mia’s laundry hamper
Katherine recently completed a special order for a rectangular laundry hamper with lid. The willow basket is really more like a trunk or storage basket. The customer was looking for a basket that will slide under their existing wood cabinets. They wanted color in the green range and a rustic look. So Katherine made the basket with French randing, blunt corners, a more rounded side and lid than she had on previous large square hampers. She made an inset handle in the lid for pulling the basket out. The basket is approximately 15″ by 27″ by 15″.
hamper lid open
Before making the basket, Katherine made a version out of buff willow. This basket has the more common inset handles on the side.
square buff trunk
Of course, all the basket at Dunbar Gardens are inspected before shipping.
small fitched willow basket
I finally got around to updating the page of baskets currently available for sale on our website. Although Katherine does quite a bit of her work “to order”, we usually have a selection of her baskets on hand. People can always browse through the gallery of basket photos here on our website to get an idea of the possibilities and consider ordering a basket to be made. But they can also look at the basket stock page to see if we have something they are interested in; especially if they need it soon.
These are willow trivets or cooling trays. Willow scalloms are tied on to a hoop frame and then two rows of fitching across. Simple form. Katherine puts these into the “much harder than it looks” category! She learned this “basket” from Jenny Crisp, an excellent basketmaker in England. Katherine wrote about this workshop at the Basketmakers Association spring school at York in 2006 and we posted the article on our website here.