Did You Know? (Basket Edition)

Did you know baskets can be made from almost any flexible material?

In the book Art of the Basket by Bryan Sentance he talks about the different materials used in basket making: reeds, grasses, bark, rushes, rattan, bamboo etc. He also gives practical examples of some of the baskets that can be carried by hand or on the head or back. There are also good directions for some basket making techniques to use if you wanted to try it for yourself.

Basket weaving is probably one of the oldest arts in the world. I’m not even going to begin to try and figure out who did it first! I am amazed at all of the styles, colors and shapes baskets come in. Basketry in America by Kristin Schwain and Josephine Stealey starts out showing you traditional baskets and ends with a section on baskets as art which are truly spectacular!. Indian Baskets of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska by Alan Lobb shows the traditional baskets made and used for hundreds or thousands of years in the Pacific Northwest using local materials.

Tapestry Weaving Kristen Glasbrook by gives you step by step instructions for creating a tapestry. They include setting up the frame, winding the warp and all you need to know to weave the designs onto it. The weaving basics for tapestry also work for baskets.

You can go one step further and weave with beads and metal rings to make jewelry. Beadmaille by Cindy Thomas Pankopf makes it look easy. I know, I know – famous last words, but you won’t know unless you try!

Even birds’ nests are similar to a basket. Avian Architecture by Peter Goodfellow shows us how birds design, engineer and build their nests. Weaving techniques are used, and many nests look like baskets. There are many sketches of nests being built and kids will especially like seeing how the birds build their nests.

If you are a sports fan, perhaps your favorite basket is a basketball net. Balls! By Michael J Rosen is a very fun book with trivia about all kinds of sports balls, and some basic history to go with it. Basketball started in 1891 in a gymnasium in winter because it was too cold to play soccer or lacrosse. The bored boys used a peach basket and the game evolved from there.

I still think my favorite basket is an Easter basket with a chocolate bunny, but no matter what you want to carry, there is probably a basket designed for that!

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