Sheila the master basket weaver, teaching how to make handles
This is the start of my basket
My friend Neila with her basket in progress
My completed basket & very first basket I’ve ever made!
Yesterday I went to a basket weaving class at Hendrick’s Park in Eugene with some friends. The teacher was our friend Sheila, who also has a booth at the Saturday Market. Sheila and her friends have a booth filled with beautiful hand woven baskets made out of all different kinds of natural materials. Jeff & I have been long time admirers of their beautiful baskets! I have been very fascinated watching them weave baskets and always wanted to learn.
Last week I checked my e-mail and saw that Sheila was teaching a free workshop with Rewild Eugene on how to weave baskets out of english ivy. The workshop was a great opportunity to learn basket weaving and help clear ivy (an invasive species here) out of the park.
We harvested the ivy (harvest the ivy that covers the ground rather than the ivy that is growing up because the ivy growing up trees etc. is too brittle for weaving.) Then we took off the leaves and grabbed eight pieces about a yard in length each, and one longer piece. We layed four pieces going up and four going across, the longer piece was the one we wove with. Sheila taught us how to start the baskets and how to weave.
Then we sat in the shade of some big beautiful trees (we were so grateful for the cool shade because it was really hot in Eugene yesterday) and happily wove our first baskets. What I noticed is that weaving came very naturally and was so relaxing and meditative! I just went with the flow and the basket seemed to create itself with the work of my hands, without any thought from me. I loved it and felt that I could just sit in that park and keep weaving forever.
I was amazed to see how different & unique everyone’s baskets were and they were all so beautiful! There was so much creativity being expressed there- hats, magic wands, ping pong paddles… the possibilities of weaving are endless! 🙂
I could tell Sheila was a natural teacher, she was so patient with everyone and was very good at explaining things, even when she had many people to teach. I had such a great time and am so grateful to have learned such a fun art and useful skill! Thanks Sheila!!
Our land is covered in english ivy, now I have a good use for it,
and my fingers long to weave…