Machine Love, Sundry Basket

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I first learned weaving paper strips to make perfect miniature baskets from Jane Harrop. I’ve used her technique quite a bit for all manner of woven containers. I’m no stranger to precise measuring and cutting of things, but the Cricut machine is ideal for streamlining and automating the process, namely the precise measuring and cutting. I can do all of the specifications in Illustrator, like practically in my sleep. Here you see a 1/16-inch (1.6 mm) layout of base and weavers. Perfectly cut by a happy machine.

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Beginning weaving. This is for a finished height of 1.5 inches (38 mm) which translates to 18 inches (46 cm), a substantial-sized basket. On a 15-inch (38 cm) base, that’s a lot of weaving of black paper, late at night, on the first day of the new year.

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Slow progress, though I enjoy the process. This height (or width) of basket requires tacking down the weavers every three or so, to maintain integrity. It gets gluey.

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Come next morning, I’ve rethought my premise. All black is challenging to work with in the best of light. Also, black cardstock as a medium is very monochrome and flat as a believable basket. And the starting height requires *far* too much time weaving for a prototype or proof of concept. So I redrew the base to half the height, and cut a new pattern from white cardstock. I used an ebony Minwax touchup marker to stain the base, which lends a more organic color to the paper. I was about to stain the weavers, when, hey! that looks cool!

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I’ve once again lost the light, but I think you can see how appealing this black-and-white woven tub is! More importantly, having the tedious measuring and cutting work reduced in producing such a thing — whether round, oblong, square or oval, handled or no — in whatever color suits your purpose, because *you* decide… might this be a thing for you? I’m going to put a basic kit in the shop which will accommodate up to a 1.25-inch round bottom, a 1/16-inch weaving base and more than adequate weavers. I’ll gladly draw to your specifications, as well. It will take me a few more days, but check it out and let me know!

22 thoughts on “Machine Love, Sundry Basket

  1. Pepper says:

    This is great and a fantastic idea for a kit. I think it would appeal to many – especially considering the selection of materials/colours you could use. Love it :0)

  2. Marion Russek says:

    You could offer these in any colors, you are right – even monochrome. Why not leave the choice to the buyer? Looking super!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      I’m thinking white cardstock and leaving the coloring up to the buyer. Options might be the shape/size of the base. Glad you like it, Marion!

  3. Christina says:

    Ohmygodyes. The cutting is what drives me away from such fun little projects and I’m sure I’m not the only lazy one ;)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Gosh, thanks, Jodi. I feel kind of the same excitement as in the early days of desktop computers and printers, when the power of the printing press came to every studio. It’s mind-and-maker expanding :)

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