I am at it again. The Georgia Basket Association Conference is this weekend, Feb 3-5, at the Doubletree Inn in Roswell, GA.
After a move from Lehigh Acres to Leesburg, FL, I took a few months to get back into the groove of weaving. I learned to seatweave a chair and now am surrounded by seat weavers and lots of antique chairs.
I have been cutting, picking,and gathering weaving material. I also learned to weave palm fronds. I am using Cabbage Palm and Saw Palmetto Palm fronds. Thank goodness for my grandson, Kevin who is willing to poke around in the bush and help me find the right fronds. He also is a snake and lizard handler at age 11.
I find that the new leaf stalk pushing up out of the palm plant has whiter leaf blades and is so flexible to work with. The leaves feel like they are oozing lanolin.
I weave with the open palm fronds too. I learned that which ever way the frond will grow, will determine how the basket will turn out. Some will be tipped, angled like a flag or weave into a birdhouse on the center of the frond stalk. Hardly any frond grows true horizontal or vertical. I don't expect palm frond hats and bowls that can be made perfectly from a coconut frond to be the end result. I still wish I had a trained MONKEY to gather the tall palm fronds for me.
If I weave with dryer fronds (7-10 days old), there is less shrinkage of the final basket. I prefer to weave with the entire folded blade and not to split the leaf along the course center rib of each leaf. But I do like the look of a fresh woven basket since they seem to stay green longer.
I am on a quest now to find fronds from the Flame Thrower Palm from New Caldonia and New Zealand, which has a spectacular bright red leaflet that emerges from the dark green crown. I wonder if the basket would remain red?
I am selling weaving supplies at the show:
Philodendron sheaths large $8/dozen
Palm Inflorescence sticks long/ thick or thin weavers $10/50
Cabbage Palm Weavers bunch $6/from the new growth stalk
Cabbage Palm frond $6/ea
Palm Alligator Tail embellishment $1/ea
Elephant Ear Pods $1/4
Sweet Gum Balls $1/5
We are (Naomi, my sister) also taking Round Trivet with Cane kits, round 9 1/2" wooden trivet blanks, Cabbage Palm Wall baskets, Flantucket (Florida - Nantucket) baskets and HUGE Grapevine basket rims among other natural weavers.
More after I return from the show.