What Is Basketmaking?
Basketmaking is an artisan’s craft that has been passed on from generation to generation. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for that special someone, a basket is a great idea and can be personalized with some added touches for added satisfaction of your gift giving. You don’t have to buy a pre-made basket. You can make one for yourself that will be unique and that your recipient will enjoy. The process is not easy but the pleasure of making something beautiful is worth the effort.
Randal Rust. 3. Basketmaking is actually one of our earliest arts, the spontaneous creation of indigenous people across the world, especially in North America where white settlers colonized the region that would eventually become Tennessee. While many of us today to make baskets from store bought materials that we find appealing, basketmaking was often a daily task for the indigenous people and a joy that were passed down from generation to generation.
Because of this, the art of basket making has been preserved by most Native American tribes. The skillful basketmakers of today have preserved this important part of their heritage. Although the modern tools and techniques are very different than what was used by early basketmakers, the style is often similar. You can use a variety of natural materials, lace, beads, leather, feathers, buckles, metal, shells and other natural objects to construct handmade baskets.
Basketmaking is not a simple craft and while there is no “master craftsman” element to it, there are skills that can be learned that will improve the baskets that you create. One of the most important skills is the ability to work with an uneven surface. While most people prefer to work on a wooden frame, wicker or other natural surface, basket makers should also consider making their baskets on an uneven surface.
Basketmaking with an uneven surface is especially useful if you are working from a design that contains many uneven sections. If you select baskets made from an oat-based substance, such as split peas, you will need to plan ahead in order to prepare the soil properly. If the soil is not ready when you start your project, your basket may become unevenly shaped. Basketmakers who want to create wooden baskets that are free of cracks should try to use a hickory based rate for their soil mixture.
The other basic preparation method that is often used by novice basketmakers is making baskets from split wood. Basketmaking from split pieces of hickory or oak requires a little more care, but it is possible to make durable baskets. In fact, some makers have completed their projects only in two years, using split pieces of these two-year-old woods.
Two other common materials used in basketmaking include alder and river cane. Both of these plant materials can be used to make very attractive baskets. River cane is more commonly used for making small baskets that are for personal use. Bark is used to make large baskets suitable for basket weaving. It is not advisable to use the bark for large scale basketmaking projects due to the risk of fire.
If you are interested in learning how to make baskets, there are several things that you can do to improve your ability. Basketmaking can be made even easier by purchasing a kit that will teach you the basics of basketmaking. You can also purchase books that teach you the basics of basketmaking and take action on your skills by making baskets on your own. No matter how you choose to learn, if you are dedicated to your goal, you will eventually master basketmaking and enjoy this relaxing craft.