Saturday, October 29, 2011

Basket dyed with Phaeolus schweinitzii "dyers polypore"

The bottom of the basket was dyed with dyers polypore. At first I used ammonia as a mordant, later I put in vinegar and the dye went from brownish to yellowish, oh and I threw some alum in at some point. As the basket dries it is getting more yellow. There are two rows of cat tails as well as cat tails on the basket handle. The cat tails were dyed too. The only undyed parts are the main reeds going up and the section of small twined reeds near the middle. It took me about 5 hours to make this basket, not counting the time it took to collect the materials. Most of the materials were purchased in a thrift shop. I happened on to a huge box of way underpriced basketry material at a thrift shop about 8 years ago. I don't normally buy basketry materiel, as it is so expensive. I normally use cat tails (after they wilt in the fall so as to not rob energy from the plant)  and English Ivy.

 English Ivy is a fun material to use; it is one of the few materials that does not require drying or soaking before use, it can be used fresh.  English Ivy is also an invasive weed that kills trees so I strongly encourage people to use it for basket making.

Here the body of the basket is almost done. Finishing off the rim is the most time consuming (and confusing) part for me to do.

Here it is all done but still wet. This is the first basket I have made in about 6 years.  I designed this basket to fit inside of my day pack.  My day pack is tall and narrow and I did not have a basket that fit inside of it.  I also made the handle short so it would fit inside my pack.

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