Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fig Forms for the Fuller

While getting ready for the Westchester Craft Fair, I wove a basket whose inside interested me as much as the outside. The basket was woven using my "hairy" technique where short pieces of rattan are individually bent, then placed behind each spoke as I weave. In the above photo, each time a blue, orange, yellow, natural or chartreuse reed appears on the inside two short ends stick out on the outside. It's a time intensive process, but the blending of hairy pieces on the outside can be subtle and wonderful. Here though, I started thinking about what I could do with the surface of a basket if in effect, the basket were woven inside out, ie. if the hairy pieces pointed to the inside and the smooth surface you see above were on the outside. (For the commission, I have been concerned that an all-over hairy piece might not stand up as well as it should in the long run.)
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In addition to having a less vulnerable outer surface, having all the ends on the inside would give me the ability to weave complex blocks of color without the usual problem of having to secure all the ends. I could either design a basket where the viewer could look into the basket and see all the texture OR ... focus on the complex color changes on the outside. Years ago I wove an open bowl with all the hairy on the inside, but the focus was still on the texture, not on the smooth color changes that occurred on the outside. I'm now interested in the smooth surface, on the outside.
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The "figs" would be closed forms. People wouldn't be able to see inside. The bent hairy pieces would create a pattern on the outside. If these pieces were 3-4 feet, the added weight of all the inside hairy pieces would add to a sense of mass, which could help stablilize the two .... though, I might have to weave something heavy inside the basket ... these are all still just thoughts.

6 comments:

  1. Very excited by the idea of a huge basket - at what point does it stop being a 'basket' and start becoming a sculpture?

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  2. oooooh... that sounds wonderful. I've always loved the smooth sides of your hairy baskets.... and the fig shapes? NICE!

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  3. @ mountainear - that has always been a sticky point. Art v.s. craft. Is it the size, the functionality, the material, the context ...?

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  4. Nope, my head has just turned inside out trying to imagine the technical stuff of the weaving; but it looks and sounds very exciting - big baskets = always good. I would place it in the art category, considering the amount of thought, conceptualising and ultimate size of it.

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  5. that sounds wonderful. I've always loved the smooth sides of your hairy baskets.... and the fig shapes? Work from home India

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