My woodworking shop is at the museum where I work…I have none at home. Our house is a little 19th-century four-room affair, full to the brim w oak furniture & kiddie stuff. No room for a shop, and a watershed in the back yard, so an act of Congress to get a shop built here…
So when I want to do woodsy-craft at home, it has to be simple, portable & few tools. Spoon carving suits that just fine, and takes up much of my non-work work. More on those again later.
But way back before I got on the joinery kick, I was a green woodworking utility player; ladderback chairs, windsor chairs, spoons, rakes, firewood carriers – and more. But the thing I made the most for a few years was baskets.
I made them usually from white ash, it’s what was/is the most common wood in southeastern New England that would work. Occasionally I’d get a white oak sapling and make splits from that. These two I kept all this time, a few others besides.
At my shop, I often make turned chairs from ash. And whenever I have a log of it around, I try to squirrel away a few bolts’ worth of ash splints for basketry. (these days, whenever I have an idea for the blog, I find I have already done it – two years ago, same month – here it is: http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/extra-curricula-work-baskets-spoons/ )
Fast-forward to some hot weather, and fill the kiddie-pool. While the kids wait for the water to get warm enough to get in, I have been soaking some splints & weaving some baskets.
These days my basket work is a lot simpler than it was back 20-25 years ago. Back then I made them in the workshop, and had a shaving horse and all manner of tools at hand. I shaved and bent solid rims inside & out on the basket, sometimes even filling the space between them with a third-section for the rim.
Now I try to make them with just a knife and scissors. If I aim to make them too finicky, I’ll never finish any of them at this point.
Here’s a few more shots Rose & Daniel took today.
Some other stuff going on today:
And the white-breasted nuthatch with its takeaway meal (click this one so you can see it) :
Here’s how the locust tree gets in the story – the worst case of poison ivy I’ve had in 30 years, maybe the only case…finally had to go to the doc for steroids.