Get this – all woven baskets are handmade. Mind blown. So the next time I pick up a woven basket I’ll think about all the work and care that was put into making that piece! And that brings me to my latest obsession: melon basketry!
Melon basketry is one of those skills I didn’t know I wanted to learn until I saw the Handcraft Studio School workshop offering. When there was a date that worked for me, I signed up right away and waited with much anticipation!
Our instructor, Michele Hament, creates baskets with natural materials like reed (what we used in class), pine needles, and kelp. I arrived as she was setting up…
She brought some samples, too. For this class we learned how to make a melon shape, but there’s also an egg basket (aka butt basket), and options to create smaller or larger basket bases.
First things first, a refresher on how to create a god’s eye weaving. This is the technique we used to attach the handle to the rim of the basket.
Michele premade the handles for us out of reed, and we created the rims also with reed. Then we created god’s eyes, this time with, you guessed it, reed! Once we completed a god’s eye on both sides, we decided on what part of the handle would be the top (marked with tape) and started inserting a base structure.
Then OMG colors! Michele dyed all of these materials for us! Deciding on colors and materials to use was the hardest part of the craft, but it was also the most enjoyable for me. It’s very much like weaving, except we soaked the reed in water to make it more flexible. I ended up using a variety of pink reed and seagrass (the neutral rope looking like material).
After 5.5 hours (plus a lunch break) I have a finished basket! I love it! It’s so cute! Hubby says it looks professionally made.
I think I’ll add this to my Thanksgiving table! Thank you to Michele and Handcraft Studio School for bringing basketry to the people! I’ll be back for more!