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A Little History to Remove the Mystery

Posted by Becky Bechtel on

I would say that I am an adventurous and self-taught craftsman (well, crafts"woman"). I have always been anxious to learn a new hobby. But when I wove that first basket in 2011, I was totally hooked. When I picked up the reed and found that it could be manipulated and worked into so many different shapes, sizes, and designs, I was fascinated. The functionality of a beautiful basket is endless. What one person believes is the perfect use for a particular basket, another one sees it's aspects totally different. And a new use is borne.

After weaving many baskets (and gifting to everyone I knew), I determined that I needed an outlet to let go of my growing accumulation of creations. With a lot of research, and much trial and error, I decided to start on Etsy as a venue to retail my creations. It was a good decision and I'm still very pleased with my shop. I also do a few art and fine craft shows each year. I always enjoy meeting people and hearing their impressions of my basketry.

BASKETS - They were there yesterday, and they'll be here tomorrow ...
The weaving of baskets is as old as the history of mankind. In fact, baskets have been carbon dated earlier than any established dates for archaeological finds of pottery. Baskets have been found in ancient Egyptian pyramids and imprints of woven baskets have left their impressions on the walls of ancient pottery. Baskets are referenced in the Bible as vessels for carrying grain - and possibly the most known basket - the one Moses was placed in to be found by the Egyptian Pharaoh's daughter.

Baby Moses in Basket
SPLINT WEAVING - My Kind of Weaving ...

Splint weaving is the technique of weaving with flat materials - or reed. This totally renewable resource, the vine Calamus Rotang (Rattan), is primarily grown in the rain forests in Indonesia. The Calamus Rotang has the longest stems in the world - some reaching 650 feet!

Calamus Rotang

The vines are cut, transported by barge to ports where they are exported to China for processing into smooth coils. Reed is made from the "rattan core" of the vine which is processed into either round lengths or flat strips.

Processed Rattan into Reed Lengths

There is no damage to the rain forest in the harvesting of these vines. The vines which grow up into the trees are pulled out without cutting down the trees. When the reed is dampened, it becomes pliable and when woven correctly into baskets, it becomes very sturdy and can last for generations.

Now that you have a little education, are you ready to check out Bright Expectations basket collection?

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