Q: I see that Eric Taylor Basketry has moved into the kitchen again today.
Eric: Well, yeah. I had to bend some wood and our stove with gas works best to get the wood boiled and hot. Should I buy a new stove and install a gas hookup for the workshop?
Uh, no. Use the kitchen.
Q: What are you working on and for who?
Eric: Bending Rims and Handles for my Cottage Garden Basket that I’m teaching in a couple weeks at Winter Weave in Ohio.
Q: How ’bout that Super Bowl and don’t you feel bad for Jud? I mean, we watched the Super Bowl at his house, in Falcons’ territory, and ate all his food.
Eric: Ate all his food? I don’t feel bad for eating all his food. And I don’t feel bad for winning the game either. We all got along and there were no fights. That “super bowl” contract you drafted and tried to get us to sign was not necessary.
Q: Now that you bought a new projector for our movie room, am I not going to see you anymore?
Eric: Oh. Well. Ah. No. I mean, won’t you come and watch more movies with me?
Q: What aggravated you this week?
Eric: You finding out that I bought a brand new projector.
Mr. Basketmaker will be teaching at the Texas Basket Weaver’s conference, in Houston, starting tomorrow. That means I was working on the “basket kit production line” for the last few days. What’s that? Well, a clever little system he set up when he needs help getting the materials together for his popular mini basket kits.
I’m not very good in identifying all his baskets. I mean, there’s so many! And I definitely can’t remember what size uprights go with what basket. So each of his mini baskets has it’s own little plastic bin. And in the bin he has a sample of the actual basket along with an index card listing out all the various parts and sizes of uprights needed for that particular basket.
So above is the bin for his so-cute mini tool tote basket. And in the background is a stack of uprights he just processed in his workshop that need cutting. I look on his index card and see he needs 2-inch uprights so I get cutting a whole bunch of them. Then I count out the number of uprights needed for one basket and heat seal them in their own little pack. Then I toss the collection of sealed packs into the bin. When I have a dozen or so packs, I move onto the next bin.
It may not look like it, but it’s an organized, and precise, basketry production line. Especially now since we can spread out over several large tables in the open space we have in McSoHo.
Next to my production line, are Mr. Basketmaker’s rim and handle molds for some of his mini baskets. They are drying. They’re also in the way of my production line. But he’s the boss so I cannot complain.
Further crowding my space is the inventory for his mini basket forms or molds. One bin contains all the samples with the basket name written on the bottom along with the word “sample.” Two reasons for this: One, so he (or his wife) doesn’t sell his sample form. Two, I can identify what mold goes with what kit! I have been known to sell a kit and put the wrong mold in the bag!