January 2021 roundup

So where did January go? Perhaps there’s a wormhole associated with Covi-19 that makes a month where every day seems to be the same suddenly pass in a flash. It’s too late to wish you all a happy new year, but Chinese new year is coming up on 12 February, so happy Year of the Ox to everyone!

Second shell vessel

Between Christmas and new year, I had an idea to try making another shell vessel to go with the tortoiseshell vessel. This one was inspired by a scallop shell.

I started by making some sample pieces of the shell segments.

scallop sample coiling

Once I’d worked out the process and shape, I made seven segments of varying sizes.

scallop shell segments

Then I stitched them together and added a border.

scallop vessel lid

The base was a bit trickier. Even with wire in the core I found it difficult to get the correct scallop shape. In the end I created a fan shape by leaving small gaps. So the vessel is not ideal for holding tiny items, but I think the effect is quite shell like. Some commenters on Instagram have also said it reminds them of an art deco shell clutch bag.

scallop coiled vessel

Here are the two vessels together.

scallop and tortoise vessels

I’m now thinking about a third vessel to complete the series, but it may take a while! 🙂

Bindweed vessels

I also carried on experimenting with bindweed, this time making some random weave vessels.

bindweed random weave vessels

Someone on Instagram suggested that a large group would look good as an installation – so I made some more.

bindweed random weave vessels

I’ve now run out of bindweed. I discovered that bindweed harvested after a heavy frost is rather brittle, so I guess I’ll have to wait until it regrows later this year!

Forces in Translation

My City Lit basketry course, which was due to resume this month after being halted last March, has again been postponed due to lockdown. 😦

However, an interdisciplinary group of basketmakers, anthropologists and mathematicians, called Forces in Translation, organised a couple of one-day public online sessions. These explored, among other things, cycloid weaving, looping in the Pacific, windmill knots, sand drawings and the topology of knots, through demonstrations, talks and practical activities.

cycloid weaving half hitches windmill knots windmill knots

Some of the maths was a bit challenging (Gauss topological notation for knots anyone?) and I wondered how I could apply it to basketmaking. But it was intellectually stimulating, especially once I grasped the principle, so maybe that’s the point. 🙂

Now I’m saving up my orange juice cartons to make a Tetrapak dog from windmill loops. This is an updated version of a cigarette packet dog, which apparently was popular in the 1950s.

So far I’ve got enough for three legs, so this could take a while!

tetrapak dog legs

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Flextiles

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%.

6 thoughts on “January 2021 roundup”

  1. Your studies, and paths taken, are so interesting. Adore your combination of enquiring mind and creativity.
    I also think your shell box is like an art deco purse; the scallop was the inspiration for shape, but the difference in material means that what you made is now not-scallop, but something else!

      1. Just saw work by Carol Eckert for first time tonight (on Contemporary Basketry) and some if it reminded me of what you are doing here with the scallop, especially how you fill in shapes that are not round. If you have never seen her work, you might like it….CarolEckert.com

      2. Thanks Harriet. I am aware of Carol’s work – great coiling inspiration! She actually compiles the Contemporary Basketry blog, so I was very honoured that she featured my tortoise vessel on there. 🙂

  2. Kim your achievements are very accomplished & you are obviously enjoying stimulating challenges.
    Love that you think about the base of your baskets too….it always irritates me when I see a wearable top with a beautiful design that has a plain, uninspiring, forgotten about, can’t be bothered, back – as if nobody sees one from the back!

    I’m glad I’m not the only one a ‘wormhole’ that sucks you in and every now and then spits you out to check the date! 🤪

    1. Thanks Antje! Creating a pattern on the base started with the tortoise vessel, as it fitted in with the idea of shrinking back into our shells during lockdown.

      Also I liked the idea of people finding a little surprise inside when they took off the lid!

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