Friday, October 2, 2015

Fiber Arts Friday: Basket Weaving with Jean Johnson

Today is Fiber Arts Friday! Join me as we expand our horizons beyond crochet to focus on other interesting fiber and needle arts. Enjoy the beautiful projects and learn something new along the way. Today's featured craft is basket weaving. "Basket weaving is the process of weaving pliable materials into a basket or other similar form." Here to guide us on our foray into the craft is Jean Johnson of Color Basket Studio.

About Jean
"I’m Jean Johnson.  I live in Germantown, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee.  I am married and have two daughters and two grand-daughters. The grand kids are 12 years and 18 months and live about 90 miles away. Occupation wise I have been lucky enough (husband had good job and health insurance) to be a basket weaver.  I have been doing art shows for about 25 years.  Some in Wisconsin and some in the Midwest. When my husband retired I decided to only do one show this year and try to sell on Etsy.  Etsy has been a nice surprise.  Sales are good and people love hand made products. I collect vintage fiesta (bright colored dishes that first were made in 1936). I have a great collection of the dishes and they inspired my colored baskets. I also enjoy spending time with the family and a glass of wine on the porch with my husband."

How long have you been basket weaving? How did you get started?
"I have been weaving for about 30 years. I started with a basket kit. Made one basket and it was fun and turned out great. Before weaving I did all sorts of arts and crafts. Sewing doll clothes and outfits, crochet, cross stitch etc. After the first basket I was hooked.  Made some more baskets and gave them to friends and family.  Sold some in shops that wanted most of my money, and finally at art shows. 

I started doing the colored baskets about 10 years ago. I dye all my own reed much like you dye fabric or wool. Then I make the basket. First the bottom is woven and double twilled. The sides are up staked and the sides are then woven. The top is turned down and a rim is double lashed in place. I also make traditional basket  that are stained with a natural walnut stain."

What advice do you have for folks who are interested in basket weaving?
"To get started weaving you can buy a kit or take a class.  To find a kit you can go online to a basket supply shop. I like Noresta for good quality reed and supplies."

Behind the scenes...

Some of Jean's work...

Such wonderfully colorful baskets! So useful, too. Thank you so much for sharing your craft with us today, Jean! You can find out more about Jean and her baskets on one of her two websites or on Etsy

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