Siri's ANWG Adventure
ANWG 2009 Conference, Spokane WA
A few photos from Sharon Gunter’s “Twilled Tote Essential” workshop at the ANWG 2009 Weaving Waves of Color Conference – showing steps during the basket construction and one of Sharon herself demonstrating how to lash the top rim.
Photos by Siri McCormick
Weave an entire basket in less than 3 hours? Not possible! Only having tried basket weaving once before, I enrolled in Sharon Gunter’s “Twilled Tote Essential” workshop at the ANWG 2009 Weaving Waves of Color conference with the aim to absorb the basics and to just try to keep up with everyone else. I mean, how could I possibly hope to finish such a substantial woven piece in so short a space of time? Ten minutes into the class it became obvious that Sharon has demonstrated her basket construction procedures many times – she really, really knew what she was talking about and was comfortable with relative rookies just like me. Her “regular” job as an elementary school instructor has provided her with plenty of patience and good humor – something truly appreciated by all of the class participants. All of our materials were prepared and ready to go prior to our arrival, so all we needed to do was to sit down and focus on making a basket - something that we were all eager to get started on.
Workshops such as this reinforce basic weaving skills through the use of different mediums and techniques. Woven tabby, 2/1 twill and lashing were incorporated into the basket design and Sharon explained their combinations and execution as our woven totes grew in our hands as we worked. Three-dimensional weaving is a specialized skill so it was important not to let the basket’s simple lines deceive you. Even though basic basket construction principles were used, all of the technique variations kept us on our toes. Starting at the bottom with a tabby weave and then changing to twill and building webbed handles into the weave structure was great fun and required a bit of extra concentration. We were all so thrilled with the results! I am happy to report that every person that took part in the workshop that afternoon finished their basket and had a terrific time while making it.
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