7 lessons, 3 hours
There are many possible ways to weave a round base from willow. The most traditional one uses pairing. But, as you’ll come to learn in this course, the use of other techniques may produce much finer-looking bases. As is the case with most of my courses, the lessons of this course offer much more than just a basic demonstration of one technique. We will also learn how to shape the base correctly, which type of joins to use in any given situation and a great deal of surrounding theory.
In this beginners lesson we'll learn the very foundations of making round bases: choosing the base sticks and assembling them correctly. If this is your first or second base, I recommend making a 3x3 base, even though I'm demonstrating a 6x6 base. After this, proceed straight to lesson 2, and start weaving your base.
Pairing is one of the most elementary weaving techniques, and the most commonly used weave for round bases. A very important technique to master, since many other, more advanced techniques, are based on its principles.
Reverse pairing is a must-know weave for every advanced basket maker. Not only is it quite handy in the making of round bases, but understanding and practicing its working method is crucial for the learning of similar, more advanced techniques, in the future.
Randing was, for many years, my go-to method for round and oval bases, mostly because it's very fine looking, but also because it's quicker and easier in comparison to pairing (at least for me). I like to use short leftover rods for this, of more-or-less equal thickness from tip to butt. Aside from the randing itself, we'll also learn how to "lock" it at the end with a single round of pairing.
French randing is by far, the neatest, cleanest looking weave for round and oval bases, but don't be tempted to think that French randing a base is as easy as French randing the sides. You have to understand, and have some experience with the advanced working method of French randing, which I like to refer to as "piling". Learning it can be quite difficult and confusing for beginners!
This unique looking base not only has an attractive look, but might also come in handy as an elegant solution in some special situations. The Spanish use a method quite similar to this, with long brown willow rods and no separate base sticks, and with this take the speed factor to a whole other level. Something I hope to, one day, teach in my school as well.
In this theoretical lesson we will take our round-base knowledge to the next level. After this you'll be able to manage by yourself, solve problems and plan your work correctly when making round bases. We will start with a quick reminder on join types for bases, and then proceed to some very important and interesting matters, such as stake number theory, methods of adding uprights and calculated work.