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Black Ash Basket Free Pattern Title square.gif (3306 bytes)

Photo of Square Black Ash Basket with Curls Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved (21154 bytes)

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - description.gif (1522 bytes)

This is a small (4" x 4") square, open basket of hand-pounded black ash woodsplint. The sides of the basket are embellished with an applied curl pattern. The body of the basket is woven over a wooden mold. The inner and outer rims are made of heavy woodsplint and are single lashed to the basket.

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - supply.gif (976 bytes)

  • Pocketknife with straight, stiff blade
  • Piece of leather approximately 12" x 12" to cover your knee
  • Awl or WeaveRite™ tool for packing and for rim lashing
  • Clip clothespins or other small clamps
  • Water bucket or basin
  • Side cutting pliers (Fiskar's™ or Plato™)
  • Tape measure
  • Cushioned stainless steel push pins
  • Sharp scissors
  • Mold Minder™
  • Soft Touch™ sanding pad or fine sandpaper
  • Caliper (optional)
  • Shavehorse and drawknife (optional)
  • Mold 4" x 4"

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - General notes on (2005 bytes)
Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - with black ash (1223 bytes)

When weaving with black ash woodsplint, you should keep the following things in mind.

  • Run your hand along the length of each splint to check for defects before using.
  • Routinely grade out all but the most minor of defects.
  • Determine which side you want to show to the outside of the basket.  Most double satin black ash splint does not have a bad side.
  • Most weavers will not require thinning down (grading) when two overlap at joins. Thin when necessary, so that the two layers do not create a noticeable bulge.
  • When you start a new weaver, overlap over at least a spoke count of 4 and conceal the ends.
  • The splint should be worked dampened enough to remain flexible, but keep in mind that the splint swells on its width when wet, so that the wetter you have it, the more it will shrink up as it dries.
  • Allow yourself enough time for the weaving to dry thoroughly before turning down and tucking the spokes, so that shrinkage will not cause problems.

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - Basket Components (1637 bytes)

  • Spokes 18 pcs. - " x 10" light spoke weight woodsplint
  • Wide Weavers 7 pcs. - 3/16" x 20" weaver weight woodsplint
  • Narrow Weavers 8 pcs. - 1/8" x 20" weaver weight woodsplint
  • Embellishment Curl 2 pcs. - 3/16" light weight woodsplint
  • False Rim 1 pc. - " x 20" weaver weight woodsplint
  • Inner and Outer Rims 2pcs. - " heavy weight woodsplint
  • Lasher 1 pc. 3/32" x 5' weaver weight woodsplint

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - weavingthebase.gif (1432 bytes)

  • Dampen and weave the spokes into a 9 element by 9 element square in a checker work (over one - under one) pattern. The square should match the measurement of the base of the mold.
  • Attach the spoke assembly to the end of the mold with cushioned stainless steel push pins, or tie it securely with waxed linen thread. Line up the woven square exactly with the dimensions of the mold.
  • Upsett the spokes along the sides of the mold and use a Mold Minder™ or elastic band to secure them. Be certain that the spokes are straight up and down along the sides of the mold and are equidistant from one another.
  • If time allows, let the spoke assembly rest and dry on the mold.
  • The Mold Minder™ can remain on the top ends of the spokes while you weave the first few rows if you choose to weave immediately.

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - Weave the basket body(1951 bytes)

  • All the body weavers in this basket are done in "start-stop" rows, in an "over one-under one" pattern.
  • Dampen a 3/16" weaver and weave the first row. If you have chosen to leave the mold minder on the spokes you will have to thread the weaver through one spoke at a time.
  • Weave tightly to the mold as you weave around the row. Pack each row well.
  • Overlap the end of the weaver for four spokes and conceal the ends.
  • Advance one side to determine the starting point of the next row. This will avoid having a build up of bulk caused by overlaps in adjacent rows. I plan to move in the direction which allows the overlap from the previous row to be covered as I weave the second side of the row I'm working on. This direction will vary depending on the direction you normally weave.
  • After three rows have been completed, you should be able to remove the band.
  • Weave a total of five 3/16" rows. Embellishment curls will later be added to the fourth and fifth row.
  • Narrow weavers (1/8") are woven in next. Weave in three rows. (This area can be varied, you may choose to use dyed weavers or more narrower weavers - but there should be an odd number of rows between the curled pattern bands so that the curls will line up properly).
  • Weave in two rows of 3/16" (the second band of embellishment curls are added to these rows).
  • Weave in four rows of 1/8" weavers.
  • Weave in one " row to form a false rim. This is the row that the inner and outer rims will be positioned over.
  • Remove the basket from the mold.
  • Add an embellishment curl to the 3/16" rows. See Figure below.

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - curl detail (7525 bytes)

  • Dampen the light weight weaver. Insert the tail end of the splint behind a spoke on the lower row of the area to be embellished. Roll a curl into the splint and then insert the leading end of the weaver behind the spoke in the upper row. Pull the splint through until the curl lies close to the basket body.
  • Roll the splint into another curl in the opposite direction and then insert the splint behind the lower spoke next in sequence. Continue around the row, alternating the direction of the curl as well as the upper and lower spoke. (Many variations to the basic curl are possible, but what is most important is that you are consistent).
  • Overlap the splint as you reach the place where you began the row of curls and conceal and trim off the ends of the splint neatly.
  • Once the lower band of curl embellishment is complete, repeat the sequence for the second band of curls on the higher group of two 3/16" rows.

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - Turn down and tuck the spoke ends

  • When the body of the basket is complete you should give the spoke ends a trim so that they are all an even height (about an inch above the false rim).
  • Allow the basket body to dry completely.  Repack the rows if they have become loose when dry.
  • Fill a basin with just enough water so that the basket can be turned upside down and set in water that is just deep enough to wet the spoke ends that are beyond the weaving and the false rim. Allow the spoke ends to soak until they are flexible, but don't get the weaving wet.
  • Turn down each outside spoke to the inside of the basket and tuck into several rows of weaving.
  • Trim off each spoke that is on the inside of the last weaver, level with the top of the false rim.

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - turntuck.gif (2376 bytes)

fitrim.gif (1960 bytes)

  • Trim, shape and sand the heavy weight woodsplint into an inner and an outer rim. The rims should be " wide. They should have their ends rounded off into a blunt point and thinned so that they do not create a bulge where they overlap. The edges should be sanded smooth and rounded over on one surface.
  • Fit the inner rim to the inside of the mouth of the basket. Be certain that it fits tightly to the inside of the weaving, leaving no gaps. Overlap the ends 3". Use small clamps to secure the rim temporarily.
  • Offset the outer rim, so that the overlap is on the opposite of the basket body. Fit the outer rim, making sure that the overlap is carved or sanded enough so that no extra bulk is formed in the overlap area. Clamp the rim with small clothes pins.
  • Dampen a 3/32" lasher. Secure the tail end of the lasher just beyond the outside rim overlap. See figure below.

Copyright  Susi Nuss All rights reserved - lashstart2.gif (1647 bytes)

  • Single lash around the mouth of the basket, lashing as tightly as you can. Secure the end of the lasher by inserting the tip between the outside rim and the weaving from the underside of the outside rim at the last space between spokes; pull the lasher tightly, then insert the lasher down, between the weaving and the inside rim. Carefully tighten the lasher so that the end of the lashing is secured between the weaving and the inner and outer rims.
  • Take time to trim off any stray fibers, or loose ends.
  • Sign and date your basket.


For More on Black Ash Basketry Also See:

Black Ash Basketry - The Baskets
Black Ash Basketry - The Basketmakers
Black Ash Basketry - Basketmakers Directory

Black Ash Basketry - The Material
Black Ash Basketry - The Process

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