Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weaving by the Sea part 1

I signed up for a willow workshop with Mai Hvid Jørgensen, a Danish willow basketweaver.  Tim Johnson and Monica Guilera Subriana were also instructors. In Tim's workshop, participants wove with esparto and rush.  It was first formed into a braid, and then sewn together with an invisible stitch.  Monica's students wove mostly with willow, and Catalan basketry techniques.

I don't have a lot of experience with willow, and the baskets that I've made have been with very tiny willow sticks.  I don't have the wrist and arm strength needed to for most willow workshops.  However, Mai explained that the baskets from her class would be on the smaller size, so that I could fit them in a suitcase, so I picked her. 

I would say that all of the students were very experienced willow weavers, except for me.

Here are some of the willow varieties we had to choose from, plus some water hyacinth that Mai brought.  She said that she purchased it from a basket weaver in Lichtenfels.

We had a choice of bases and styles, some depicted below:

I decided to try the Catalan base (above) and weave with the water hyacinth, as in the basket with the black leather handles above.    Let's say that I was less than successful.  I wove a medium sized basket, and learned this new base, plus a braid weave.  For some reason, my brain (jet lag?) was not seeing the pattern, and I didn't like the results, so I started another, smaller basket.  I did the same base so that I could have it cemented into my brain.  Then, just plain weave and twining.  I did try some nice olive branches for a little contrast.  I had a great time.  It was very hot, the workshop was very mellow, and Vilanova was a fun town to explore.

Meanwhile, other students were weaving large, lovely creations-

The following photos are baskets from Monica's workshop.   They are mostly her work, and some another basketweaver.

The lighter portion is cane. 

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