Saturday, January 31, 2015

Inspired by Basketry

I have always loved baskets. It probably stems from my mother who was quite basket crazy. She would hang them on the walls, take them out in the garden, use them as storage in the kitchen, and even as storage in her hatch-back car. I inherited many of her baskets, but my favorites are her Navajo patterned ones and her old hamper picnic baskets. I just kind of love the handmade look to baskets. 

I decided to create a bracelet that had that woven look to the sides but a sturdy rim. This is a right-angle weave attached to leather using hemp. And for just a touch of an old-world, Egyptian look, I decided to include a brass scarab cabochon as the focal. 

The craft of basketry seems to have changed very little over the centuries. In doing my little history search for this post I came across gorgeous baskets woven today as well as wonderful, rustic antique ones from around the world. You can see my collection on Pinterest, or the Etsy treasury I created below.

Basketry is one of the oldest crafts around originating back to ancient Egypt when materials like grasses, reeds, stalks of flax or twigs were abundant. These were used to make not only baskets, but mats, bags, beds, sandals or even reed rafts. It is said that basketry came first and influenced cloth weaving, pottery and even carpentry. Some say that basketry inspired pottery as early baskets were lined with clay for waterproofing and those that accidentally burned left behind thin-walled pottery. I love discovery out of what might at first glance look like a mistake. 

One of my favorite examples of a mistake is about Ivory soap. Ivory was originally just another bar soap, but the guy who ran the mixing machine accidentally left it on while he was out to lunch and it over whipped the batch of soap. P&G decided to sell it anyway, and once out on the market people were clamoring for the 'soap that floats' because at the time woman would have to dig around in the bottom of the washtub for the soap. I know, I know. I'm off track again. But sometimes I love the little side stories.

Basket Case

My mother loved baskets and often joked calling herself a Basket Case given her rather large collection
Antique Native American Indian Hupa Basket
Antler Basket with Dried Philodendron - Item 670 by Susan Ashley
Vintage Woven Boho Basket / Boho Decor / Southwestern Decor / Mexican Tight Weave Basket With Lid
Washoe Polychrome Degikup Native American Indian Tribe Paiute HUGE GIANT Coiled Native Globular Basket Giant Enormous Willow Rod Coil
Large Red-Man Picnic Basket w/ Accessories 50's & 60's
Straw Flower  Pine Needle Basket handmade
Tlingit Indian Style Spruce Root Rattletop Basket
Vintage  Hupa Basket - Mint Condition - Rattle Snake Band Basket - Native American Basket -  Indian Basket - Home Decor
Vintage Round Coiled Basket with Lid, Finely Hand Woven
Large Vintage Woven Basket or Purse - Black Straps, Handles
Native American hand woven coil basket southwestern
Vintage Native American Round Lidded Trinket Basket with Knob
PNW Native American Designs
Papago Horsehair Mini Basket & Lid Genuine Tohono O'odham The Desert People
Native American Basket / Authenticated Indian Coil Basket With Lid / Rustic Southwestern Decor / Unique Storage / Antique Handmade Container
Vintage Coil Basket Southwestern Design

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Lesley said...

I love this Cynthia - such a lovely setting for my cab.

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Very cool effect, Cynthia, the scarab adds a neat dimension, too :) I think my favorite basket from your Pinterest board is the "Fibonacci" and from your treasury, I would pick the awesome mini woven from horsehair. Just realized both are black LOL. I'm predictable ;)

BackstoryBeads said...

What a fun cuff you created to celebrate the art of basket weaving! Loved scrolling through your Pinterest board. Really drawn to Kari Lonning's work. I see from her website that she teaches classes, but, alas, in Boston! Maybe a future road trip?

Memories for Life said...

Beautiful new bracelet! And what a great treasury. Baskets are so fun...I love all the patterns and shapes!

Shaiha said...

What a great post and bracelet! I always get a history lesson when you show off a new piece.

Linda Younkman said...

What a great piece. I love the basket weave look and the way you treated the leather on the sides and ends. I too love baskets and have collected many over the years not nearly as great as the ones pictured above but I still have baskets on my kitchen soffet and one room in my home. Lovely modeling of this bracelet also!

Maryanne said...

Oh, my, I love this!! I'm a basket lover and collector too! This is really a great idea and it does look like basketry. Really great idea and I love that you added it to leather. Have a great Sunday!

JustRetired said...

That is so true about mistakes becoming unique design elements. That happens to me a lot! Thanks for including my basket.

Christine Altmiller said...

Ahhh ~ I was curious what all your basket pins were about!
What a great vibe to this bracelet ~ very reminiscent of a basket and great textures going on here. The structure with the leather/hemp/beads/metal...all very well thought out. It looks like string and comfortable bracelet.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Beautiful work! I would love to take a class in basket weaving. I seems like such a relaxing craft that leaves you with something useful. These creations are so amazing. Interesting about the Ivory soap. I have been taking showers for as long as I can remember so I didn't realize it floats!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

This is just OOZING with wonderful texture, and you know how I love my texture! The colors are beautiful - and I adore that closure!

I love baskets, too! In reading your post, I started to think about how I use them everywhere! My guest bath has a lovely little basket that holds a bunch of sample size toiletries for my guests. In my studio, I have quite a large basket that holds my "thank you" note cards that I slip in to my packages. Sarge - every the dog toy collector - has 3 way-too-large baskets that holds his favorite toys! It's an ancient art form that I would love to learn to one day!

Bobbie said...

What a great mix of art forms! I love the variety of shapes and materials baskets can have. One of my favorite folk artists in Alabama made beautiful pine needle baskets - I regret not every buying one.

Sherri Stokey said...

That is such a cool bracelet! Love the way you combined the different materials and techniques - awesome design!

Duni said...

I love baskets too! Your cuff looks amazing and very comfortable to wear! Fantastic treasury too :)

Marcela Gmd said...

Beautiful bracelet!!!
Have a good week!!! and my g+ for you!!!.)))

Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Cynthia,
beautiful cuff, I love the rustic look and feel of it and the brass scarab is a wonderful choice for enhancement. Baskets are wonderful items to have around and so useful. I do not think they will ever go out of style. Love looking at the ones you have presented.

handmade by amalia said...

This bracelet is so cool! And an interesting story behind it.

Janet Bocciardi said...

You've got something here Cynthia! This cuff is gorgeous and looks exactly like a basket weave. Really love it!

I too love baskets and if it didn't hurt my fingers so much I'd do more basketry weaves in wire. I took a couple basket making classes from a Portland artist and got a great appreciation for their craft. It killed my forearms and again.. fingers. Takes a lot of strength.. but oh what you can make!

Hope you do more of these cuffs. Very cool.

Magic Love Crow said...

Truly love this post! Gorgeous bracelet ;o)

Marcela Gmd said...

Have a good week, dear friend!!!:)))

AntiquityTravelers on Etsy