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Natural Baskets: Create Over 20 Unique Baskets with Materials Gathered in Gardens, Fields, and Woods.

Maybe you've never had the urge to create a basket. No doubt many people have gone to their graves without ever once being afflicted with that urge.

I'm not one of them. I don't know why, or where or when or how it started - I don't consider myself the basket weaving type - but I've had the itch for years, and didn't know where to scratch. Natural Baskets did the job.

Seven authors offer well-illustrated instructions for making more than seven different baskets, with everything from bark and vines to pine needles, to a rye straw bee skep. In addition to very good drawings, there are some nice full-color pictures to give the neophyte some inspiration - and something to shoot for.

All the instructions seem to be simple and complete. Not that the process itself is always simple. I was very interested in baskets made of black ash. Their practicality appealed to me, and I felt our acres of black ash ought to be good for something.

I haven't found time to try it yet. That's because the preparation includes getting a 6-ft. log 9-12 inches in diameter, removing the bark, and pounding the log with a wooden mallet 15-20 overlapping blows per inch in order to remove the one-year growth layer.

However, I was doing some brush cutting and salvaged a large armload of red osier dogwood, which also gets a chapter. In addition to having the material on hand, the colored pictures were inspiring. These were the coarsest, crudest, most primitive-looking baskets of the lot. How could I possibly make one any uglier?

Somehow, I managed. Before I showed it to Diane I asked her how much a basket cost. After she saw it - and quit laughing - she lowered the price. It took five hours. It was a big basket, but I decided not to quit the day job just yet.

No matter. It was relaxing, and fun, and I'm going to do it therapy. I even know what I'm going to think about as I pound on that black ash 15-20 blows per inch with a wooden mallet.

If I can make a basket using this book as a guide, anyone can.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Belanger, Jd
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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