Lockdown week 3

I got a bit carried away with the blue and white coiled sample I started last week, and ended up with a fully fledged bowl! The finishing was neater on this, so I am improving. 🙂

coiled bowl

I also completed another straw vessel, this one made of coiled cordage. I found making cordage from straw a bit challenging, to put it mildly.

Although I soaked the straw and left it to mellow, some of it still had a tendency to split, and the stiff nodules made it difficult to twist. If I cut the nodules off I was left with very short fibres.

Also the resulting cordage varied in thickness, which made for a bit of an uneven pot. Still, I got there in the end.

straw cordage vessel

Making the straw cordage reminded me that I still had a lot of dried daffodil and day lily leaves I saved last year. So I also made a bit of cordage from day lily leaves. It was so easy compared with using straw – quite relaxing and meditative! You can see last year’s post on making cordage here.

lily cordage

The weather warmed up this week, so I planted my Japanese indigo seeds, saved from last year’s plants. I was also delighted to see green leaves unfurling on some willow stubs I stuck in a pot about a month ago.

willow leaves

I don’t think I will have enough to make a basket for a couple of years, but it’s a start!

Slightly further afield in my local park (the one that hit the headlines when it was shut down on Sunday), the swans are nesting.

swan nest

I thought the weaving was a bit loose. 😉 But it was interesting watching the bird plucking down from its breast to keep the eggs insulated.

I also came across a dog with a stick (or should that be a stick with a dog?)!

dog with large stick

The dog certainly didn’t give up – I came across it carrying the stick shortly after entering the park and then met it again on the other side of the park, still with the stick!

This week’s kimono from the V&A exhibition is actually a kamishimo, an outfit for a male. Samurai wore these for formal occasions – this one is probably a boy’s. It comes in two parts – a pleated lower garment (hakama) and a sleeveless jacket (look at those shoulder pads!) called a kataginu.


Stay well!

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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

13 thoughts on “Lockdown week 3”

  1. Thank you, Kim – you are inspiring me to “carry on carrying on” – was thinking during garden clean up that I could save those leaves for paper or such like! Your baskets are lovely…and now also thinking about the dye take up potential of some of the dried leaves…and Oh, the swans…such an endearing image

    1. Good to hear from you Wendy – hope you are keeping well. I haven’t tried dyeing my cordage yet but now that you’ve mentioned it I feel the indigo vat beckoning! I’d love to see your paper if you do make some, and how it works with your botanical inks. Stay well! x

      1. Yes, I think it is a choice! BTW your willow plantings reminded me of my grandmother. They had a farm in Pennsylvania and she planted a willow near the outhouse. One year she just cut off branches and stuck them in the ground and we ended up with a willow hedge. I love how versatile this plant is and it always reminds me of her when I see one. I do know that they like to be near water. Probably why she planted it near the outhouse!

      2. Yes, willow does like water. I was warned not to plant it too near any drains! Maybe your grandmother’s outhouse provided other, um, fertiliser too. 😉

  2. Love the blue bowl. It is lovely. Thanks for the photo of the swan, I haven’t been able to go anywhere to see water birds. I’ve just been watching the birds at my feeder.

    1. It is a godsend to be able to go to the park (when it isn’t closed). Although we do have a small pond in our garden, which is full of tadpoles at the moment and they are certainly not observing social distancing! 🙂

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