Handwoven Baskets & Hand Crochet
Celtic Bird Many Paths Art and Services

Traditional and Rustic Baskets

Handwoven Baskets & Hand Crochet

Traditional Baskets

I am drawn to traditional craftwork because of my interest in the culture of my ancestors. Like so many ancient peoples, the Britons, Irish and Scots all made baskets for a great variety of uses. They used straw, rushes, willow branches, blackberry bramble, wild clematis vine, nettle, possibly wild hop or even very thin strips of oak for their basket making. With these materials the Britons and Gaels made seed potato baskets, harvest baskets, fish and lobster creels, bee-skeps, berry baskets and muck baskets. The Gaels made panniers for their ponies so they might carry goods to and from market. The ancient Britons, Irish and Scots even used some of these fibers to make toys and rattles for their children as well as for ritual and decorative purposes. Willow wicker was used for making chairs and coffins, as well as market and laundry baskets. When the Irish, the Scots-Irish and the Britons migrated to the New World in colonial times, they brought their craftwork with them.

Weaving baskets allows me to creatively connect with my ancestral heritage and keep the cultural tradition alive. I was born in Pennsylvania. My father's ancestry was British and Canadian, possibly Scottish. My mother's heritage was Pennsylvania Deutsch. The Pennsylvania Deutsch, like many of the people from Great Britain, made baskets for daily use on their farms. They too, used straw, willow, vines, and other natural fibers to make bee-skeps, berry baskets, cheese baskets, harvest and hearth baskets. The Pennsylvania Bean Pot is a style I particularly enjoy making because of its lovely round form and swinging wooden and metal handle. Pictured are just a few of the many different styles of baskets that I make.

  Market Basket       Turtle Basket       Market Basket w/Sheep  
  Merry Berry Basket  Blueberry Basket  Pink Green Basket  Little Berry Basket  
  Raspberry Basket  Flower Basket  Flower Basket  Pumpkin Basket  

Rustic Baskets

In pre-colonial and colonial times, rustic baskets were made of materials gathered from the local woods and grasslands, as well as grown in gardens. Natural fibers such as fox grape, willow, Virginia creeper vines, sea grasses, sedge, nettles, corn husks, day lily or iris leaves, honeysuckle, coralberry or wisteria vines all could be used to make baskets. Basket handles could be made from thick vines, driftwood found by the ocean, or even branches found at abandoned beaver dams in ponds and streams.

I make my rustic baskets from a gathering of found fibers, such as iris leaves from my garden, driftwood, seagrass and shells from the ocean shore, beaver hewn sticks from a lakeside dam, as well as pottery ornaments and reed purchased from my favorite basket supplier.

These are a few examples of my rustic baskets. As you can see, each one is unique.

  Rustic Seagrass Basket            Rustic PInk Basket            Rustic Driftwood Basket  
    Nautical Basket Trio               Rustic Shell Basket    
Handwoven Baskets & Hand Crochet