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Location: lake placid, florida

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

the making of a basket

nantucket lightship baskets are a true american craft. the nantucket basket is woven on a wood mold, has a wood base, and a rim. they can have wood or cane staves (uprights), and the rim can be made of wood or reed.

the basket i made this summer is a 10" tabletop basket. the mold is shallow, and curved to the top of the mold.

first i drew a circle the size of the base onto curly maple and cut it out on the band saw.

next i drilled the middle hole out on the drill press. drilling a little from both sides to prevent chipping out.

then onto the lathe to round over one edge (the edge on the inside of the basket). and make the slot that the staves fit into.

the base gets sanded with the random orbital sander, hand sanding the rounded edge til the wood gleams. the base gets a coat of oil finish as a sealer.

this isn't mine, but you get the picture ;-)

here is the stave material, cane.

and cut into 8" pieces.

i tapered both sides on the belt sander, to match the curve on the mold.

stick the staves in the base's slot, and weave away. first weaver was 1.5mm cane, the rest of the basket was woven with 1.75.

here's the basket woven up and leveled. the inner rim is inside the basket, and the outer rim is next to it with the epoxy glue that glues the rim ends together.

the rim ends are scarfed, the the taper is perfected on the disc sander and the drum sander.

the ideal is to make the scarf joint as invisible as possible.

the rims are on,

and the top of the staves are cut flush with the rim.

every other stave gets dotted in the middle of the rim, a hole is drilled with a dremel drill, and a brass escutcheon pin is hammered in the hole.

finally the basket is lashed! this one has double lashing, so the lashing looks crisscrossed.


today i'll get some salad bowl finish, this baby is going to be my big popcorn bowl :-)

rebecca at brant point.

last week was the nantucket film festival. it was really really cold. this is the friday night free movie at children's beach. i had to have this photo of the only 5 nuts waiting to see the movie (me included).
the film was worth the cold. after the movie there was a q&a with the director raul de la fuente, fascinating!

i also saw the good night, flakes, the go-getter, and canvas. all were good, but canvas was beyond excellent.

rebecca saw more movies as a volunteer, and she got the coveted free volunteer hoodie!

last lunch with bobby and karol at something natural, biggest sandwiches in the world, and the best carrot cake :-)

goodbye nantucket!


Anonymous Cassie said...

W-w-w-wait a second. You did all of it? Including the woodworking?

I think I give up now.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Alright. Quit it. You are making all of us look bad.

Nantucket looks lovely tho. Cool sea breeze sounds really good right about now.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Amazingly beautiful basket. I'm impressed.

12:05 AM  
Blogger June said...

Wowza Vanessa! I am totally impressed with your craftmanship! Some of us can only drool. . . the pictures of Nantucket make me slightly homesick!

7:47 AM  
Blogger anne said...

that is so cool! so you took a workshop or something in nantucket? or do you make those all the time at home? nantucket looks like it was a great vacation!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said... are one TALENTED lady....we already knew that! LOL

Wow! I am very impressed. I took a basket weaving class once and enjoyed it but we did nothing compared to THIS beautiful Nantucket basket! I LOVE IT!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous marti said...

wow. you truly are amazing.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Spinny Bunt said...

Another gorgeous basket! Very inspiring. I can't wait to get the shop cleared otu and try making one. Wanna come up and show me how? Please?

11:48 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Well... and here I worried you would just waste your time there and not do anything creative or constructive. Lovely basket, as usual!! I enjoyed the photos.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Romi said...

Wow, Vanessa! Your baskets always amaze me. That is so cool!

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anni said...

Vanessa, you are so talented. I want such a beautiful basket - that's for sure. If only I lived closer you could try to teach me how to make on myself.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Adrian said...

My gosh, Vanessa! That basket is beautiful!

I love how you have a framed photo on the wall behind your drill press.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Michelle B said...

Lurve the basket. You are a multi-talented lady.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

Wow, love the basket. We were at Cape Cod a couple of years ago for vacation and I HAD to come home with a Nantucket. They are beautiful baskets and yours is absolutely stunning.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Beth S. said...

That is just TOO cool! :-) Your basket looks like one made by someone who does that for an actual living. It's really nice!

I love how poly-crafty you are. ;-)

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Well, I'm just impressed. Nicely done!

6:52 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Wow! You make it look effortless!
How very cool--and most excellent!!
Your fingers have so much talent-

The trip to Nantucket looks like it was wonderful!

7:35 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Okay -- give me the name of your teacher, I'm ready to sign up! What great photos of great craftsmanship. Thanks for sharing.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

That basket is incredible! Is there anything you can't do??

No seriously, is there?

2:54 PM  
Blogger Dr. Steph said...

That is beautiful. You are so talented.

One of those would make a beautiful bike basket.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I love all your baskets, Vanessa! It's really interesting to see how they're made - thanks for the great blog post.

Nantucket looks lovely. Hope you enjoyed your vacation!

11:31 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Millions of talents, lots of tools, IMPRESSIVE. The basket looks professional.

5:53 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Well, I'd guess the first 22 comments said everything, but I'm still so impressed. Wow. Plus, now I'm craving a s'more. :)

4:56 PM  
Blogger zippiknits said...

comment 23. *Faints!* What I wouldn't give to be able to make baskets like that. Well, none of my fingers but I'd give a big TOE. I wonder if the basket Goddess would accept a toe? Lady, that is gorgeous. I have a band saw.. hmmmm.... *thinks about it*...

3:18 AM  
Anonymous Kerry said...

Such beautiful work!

It must have been hard to leave Nantucket - that last picture broke my heart!

9:00 AM  
Blogger Lorri said...

Thank you for your comments on my Victorian Lace Stole. I loved looking at your basket in progress. What a work of art!

3:02 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I had no idea - thanks so much for showing us how it's done. Your workmanship is fabulous.

9:58 PM  
Blogger hege said...

Your basket is gorgeous! It's no wonder those baskets are so expensive to buy, just look at all that work that goes into them! Looks like you had a beautiful trip to Nantucket, your pictures are great!

12:26 PM  

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