Thursday, May 31, 2012

First Kelp Basket of 2012

Here's the first kelp basket of the year. It's interesting because it is very very dark green- almost black. I'm not sure if it's because the kelp was on the beach during cloudy weather and was picked up before it had any "Sun- seasoning". The one brown band was a noticeably older piece of kelp. I also noticed that the kelp had a much more dramatic level of shinkage width-wise making this batch of  kelp excellent for twining.
This little basket is approx. 6x9 inches including the handle.
I think I'll learn a lot about the decompositional qualities of kelp this year!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Suspended Vessel #3- Casting a Wide Net

Here's my third suspended vessel - "Casting A Wide Net". People who have followed me over the years may recognise some Moxie like characters and perhaps even recall "Ritual at Low Tide" with this piece. It's made with polymer clay, copper wire and is coloured with alchohol inks. It's  8" high and 10 inches at the widest point. 

 The process.... absolutely addictive!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Season Begins!!!

I've had a few unsuccessful trips to the beach searching for kelp which begins drifting in from May through September or so. On Monday I finally found a few assorted bits here and there but the season began today with a huge "raft" on the shore of. McNeil Bay.... it took 40 minutes to untangle and  bag it. It's enough for at least one and a half baskets. The next step is to hang and dry it.
Here's the bagged harvest!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Suspension Vessel #2

Here's Suspension Vessel number 2. I exhausted the last of my supply of Fimo for this one. I'm expecting a big shipment of Premo next week, it will be very interesting to compare the solidity of the two clays.

This one is 14 inches high and 8 inches wide. I have another idea in my head for the next one so I'm looking forward to the arrival of that clay!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Latest Suspended Vessel

I finished my suspended vessel. It's 15" high and approximately 6" wide. Polymer clay  and wire and I have the next version underway!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Wild Thing Basket

Here's my Wild Thing basket... approx 5.5 inches high and 5.5 inches at the widest point. Woven with cedar and sweetgrass.

Wilderness Basketry Studio- Wild Thing Workshop

Jo Ann and George Hart- Wilderness Basketry- Seabeck Washington
I'm home again after a trip to Seabeck Washington to Wilderness Basketry for Jo Ann Hart's Wild Thing Cedar basket class. Jo is a wonderful teacher who has designed a basket that is a delight to make . When the  foundation levels have been woven it's a project with lots of opportunities for self expression.
Jo Ann's Wild Thing basket 
When I first walked into the sunshine flooded studio with its welcoming array of antique furniture , huge library, reams of cedar and wall shelves displaying dozens of baskets of all shapes and sizes I knew I was in for a memorable weekend. 

The Workroom

Jo is a patient and observant teacher and lets her students work independently but keeps an eye out for little missteps along the way so everyone makes steady progress. I appreciated her patience with me when I managed to step in a container of water and created a cedar stained flood! 
As the weather was absolutely glorious we ate our lunches on the deck and admired George and Jo's beautiful garden which showcases the ways that basketry can add a beautiful flourish to a landscape.

Look up at the huge random weave ball in this arch.

I want to learn how to do this!!
a mega bean pole

I heartily recommend a class at Wilderness Basketry. Jo and George offer a warm welcome and you'll leave feeling that you've made good friends. 
Where's my basket you ask? By the end of class on Sunday I was at the fringe element of the project and had run out of time. I'll finish up today so stay tuned for the reveal!


Friday, May 4, 2012

What's on my desk? Suspended Vessel Prototype #2

Today I made most of the framework for the second experimental version of the suspended vessel concept and covered the pieces with the polymer clay sheeting I prepared yesterday.  The next step is to make beads and some geometrically influenced accessories. I think I'll continue with scrap clay and low end wire though because I'm interested in process rather than end product at this point. This endeavour troubleshot some issues and gave me a heads up on some unforeseen snags . Version 3 may be a keeper!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Starting Point

The beaches are still withholding kelp from me so I've decided to work on the suspended vessel polymer clay and wire project I experimented with a few blog posts ago. Making a generously sized patterned sheet is my starting point. I've used this garden themed design before and  had very interesting effects.... not what you might think when you look at this version!

It occurs to me that the style of these polymer and wire vessels is about as different from kelp basketry as possible!