Two willow baskets for packing oysters. The basket on the right belongs to Jon Rowley of Seattle who picked it up from a basketmaker in France back in the 70’s. Jon came by Dunbar Gardens after seeing my photos of Katherine’s baskets on Flickr.com. He brought his oyster basket along and left it with Katherine to check out. Jon works with Taylor Shellfish here in the Puget Sound region and has a vast knowledge and appreciation for oysters.
The basket is a traditional form used to pack oysters to market (baskets were then returned stacked in each other). Katherine made the basket on the left as a copy. (Not bad for a first go!) She admires the efficient design of the original – a stake on each side becomes the handle, the border narrow on the back, the hinges made from one piece, the slewed base, and no waling which makes the shaping and corners more of a challenge. She did find a short description of a similar basket in “La Vannerie – l’osier” which is a French basketmaking manual. We have put Katherine’s version to use as a kitchen potato storage basket