Mr. Basketmaker was busy over the weekend making a whole bunch of mini-molds…
This is the final stage in creating Eric’s molds for his Cottage Smalls kits.
The varnish has been applied to seal them and then they sit to dry. Actually there’s one more stage that I missed. He identifies each mold on the top and signs them. Then they are done.
I think they are works of art. But they are only the molds one weaves a basket on. I say that lightly because of all the work, including these molds, that goes into weaving one tiny basket of Eric’s. It’s not “only a mold” but the foundation to produce something beautiful and 100% hand-crafted and in the U.S.A. I might add…
Today in Mr. Basketmaker’s workshop, he was finishing up making a batch of a brand new weaving tool he created…
And back in my studio, I was designing a little package for the tool to go in. Almost done with that. And when I get final approval from the ‘boss man’ I will write more about his new nifty invention.
Mr. Basketmaker is getting ready for his workshop in Georgia so it’s been a very busy last couple of weeks for him. On the docket today? Bending rims for his Gardener Basket.
First he needs to make the molds that the rims will bend around and dry.
It’s still so nice that his workshop is in a completely separate building. I still feel grateful for this. When we were back in New Hampshire, we both lived and worked under the same tiny roof. I not only heard all his machines and the banging, but all that sawdust got tracked through the house!
Here he is drilling the holes where the rims will be held in place after they are bent.
Now for the next step… I’m having major Déjà vu! Because he moved his “bending” operation into our kitchen!
Supposedly, the thickness of the rims for this basket bend better if he gets the water much hotter in the large soaking tray. And the burners in his workshop was not boiling the water as hot as our stove. So in came the 5 foot stainless steel tray across two burners of our stove. And the stack of molds he just produced and all the other materials he needs to complete the whole process.
So the rolling kitchen cutting station becomes his bending table.
Looks like he has three down. Twenty-five more to go! And these are only the rims! Basketmaking is way too much work. And for him to do this for almost thirty years? That’s dedication!