Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I finished another basket last night. This one took me 10 days. I weave my baskets only in the evening after dinner while watching tv. This most recent one I worked on almost every night for an hour or more. I dont keep track of how many hours each one takes but I know it is at least 10 hours. This one I made using a large plastic bag that black sunflower seed bird seed came in. I buy my wild bird seed in bulk and go through about 100 lbs a year. This bag has some very pretty colors in it. Lots of orange, black and yellow. I think when I make these baskets out of the more natural colors they are especially appealing. From a distance you wouldn't think it was made out of a plastic bag. This time I tried putting the plastic through the paper shredder. It didnt cut the plastic but it did perforate it so I had some guide lines to follow while cutting the bag into strips using scissors. It is pretty large. I can see this one sitting on someones coffee table, or as a center piece on a dinning room table. Once again I used dozens of single use plastic bags as the core of this basket,weaving the colored stronger plastic around this core by wrapping it in the coil method. I use a needle to poke the strips through the previous row of coils and pull it tight. To make the plastic bag rope core I use as the inside coil, I take dozens of single use plastic shopping bags, cut off the handles and cut off the bottom seam on the plastic bag. I save the strip from the bottom. I then take the loop of plastic that was the bag, open it up and using the cut off seam I tie these loops together. I have found that this makes the most consistent thickness for the core rope. I have tried many many other methods, looping them together like a rubber band, taping them end to end with scotch tape all of which made lumps at the connection. I do love the baskets I made that have these inconsistencies in them because they dont look like mass produced plastic Easter baskets which other people who make recycled plastic bag baskets seem to favor. It is easier to weave if the core is consistent. I want mine to look natural, primitive. The juxtaposition between an ancient craft humans all over the world throughout time have used and a non natural Plastic which humans will have to learn to live with due to it never decomposing makes for a fascinating object. I will take some photos today and add them after I have my coffee.