Would like your opinion re: weaving

party_music50January 15, 2012

Hello. This is holiday-related, I promise. Some of you know that I'm a hobbyist basket weaver -- not sure if you know that I also teach weaving. I've been asked to offer weaving classes at the local Art & Community Center again. In the past I've offered various utility basket weaving classes (e.g., muffin basket), but I wonder what the interest would be in weaving something more decorative or holiday-related -- and I'd like your opinions and suggestions.

I just made up a pattern and technique for a beginner's class to weave a bell. I think they can be easily decorated and hung on a wall, door, or xmas tree. Here are some photos -- I'm wondering what you think of these bells... would you use one to decorate??? would a class to weave these interest you?! If so, would you want to weave one or two bells in the class (1.5-2hrs vs 3hrs)? and if you could choose only one of the following photos to represent the woven bell, which would it be? If not, can you suggest something holiday-related (or otherwise) that you'd like to see offered in a basket weaving class?

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phonegirl

Love both of your bells. If I had to choose what photo stands out to me, it would be the second one. I like how the pattern shows up.

Have you weaved a heart shaped basket? They would be fun for a Valentines Day project. When will you be teaching this class? Sounds like alot of fun ahead for you and your students.

Punk

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 7:38PM
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party_music50

Thanks for the reply, Punk! Heart shaped baskets would be a little tough for a beginner's class, but I think I could do a "puffy heart"... it's decorative and usually hung from a ribbon. I actually thought of it after I posted this! I'll see if I can make one tomorrow to show you.

I had intended to offer the classes in Jan and Feb, but they have a long lead time in their planning and advertising -- the earliest classes will start in March, but the proposals have to be in before the end of January. Hence I'm weaving and photographing now to decide what classes to offer. People like to see a photo in the brochure before they'll sign up for a class.

Whenever I teach a class I try to offer something new/different and I'm just wondering if the bells would interest people. I've never offered holiday-related weaving projects and have been thinking about it for a long time. I'd really like to offer a few different things on different days. It's a crap shoot when you offer a class -- you never know what they'll want. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:21PM
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slinkey

I like the idea/look of your bells also Punk's idea of a heart, but since the classes won't start till March - what about Stars? They can be used for either a holiday display or even a Summer/Country decoration or for just about anytime.
That would allow more people to participate who don't necessarily celebrate Christmas...just a thought.
jane

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:42PM
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party_music50

Thanks, Jane! What I envision for a star-shaped basket would only be appropriate for an advanced weaver. OTOH, a star decoration could be just 5 pieces of willow tied together into a star shape -- I did those last year for my outdoor xmas decor, along with woven snowflakes. :) Were you thinking of something like that -- to tie the willow into star shapes? or even to weave and 'fill in' the willow star?

Re the March class start, I am always frustrated by their class schedule. To me, the best time to weave is in the autumn and early winter! and those are the only times they won't let me offer a class. :(

I'd offer an easter basket class in a heartbeat if I had a supply of pastel-dyed reed! I don't though and it's much too expensive to buy just to offer a class. The dyed reed colors I have available are burgundy, colonial blue, dark orange, dark green, med blue, mauve, ... not exactly easter basket colors!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:53PM
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party_music50

I just remembered that I also have unpainted wooden apple shapes that can be woven into a basket as a decoration if that inspires anyone. They could be pre-painted or not. Everything is pretty much up to the instructor on what the class will be, what materials will be supplied, how long it should take, and what dates/times the class(es) will be offered. Since I have always worked full-time, I've only offered my classes on weekday evenings.

I can't offer a class where I don't already have the materials available because they allow signups right until the day before class!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:59PM
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slinkey

PM...I guess I was thinking more along the lines of a simple star shape basket - very shallow - that could be either hung up or placed on a table. I used to have a heart shaped one like that and I liked that I could use it either way.
The wooden apple shape is a nice thought too..and the idea of painting it or not could be their choice.
That's a tough position to be in with buying your supplies right before your classes start without knowing how many students you will actually have. I guess you should have a pretty good idea beforehand and figure on buying extra.
Let us know how it goes and what you decide on.

jane

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Purplemoon

I like both the bells, but if I had to pick a favorite pattern it would be the lighter one's design. I think the bells would look best as a pair.

I really liked the star-shape idea a lot, I'd rather learn to make that if I had a choice in class. Stars are always popular in decorating it seems.

Your baskets are always so lovely, and its wonderful you can share your creativity with others and teach them weaving.
hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 12:12AM
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jeannespines

Oh gosh, wish I could sign up! I'd be there in a hearts' beat! ;-(

The bells are really cute ... probably would want to make 2 of them ...but that's a 'long' class ...so I'd go for one unless you have the class more than one night...that 2nd pic is the one I'd use also (like punk suggested).

Have fun, party! I think any of these ideas would be good ones to use if they can be made by 'beginners!' Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 12:19AM
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party_music50

Thanks again, Jane. Yes, my supplies must be ordered on-line and I need to allow at least one week to receive them, just in case. The director at the A&C Center doesn't seem to understand that I require that one week lead time to offer any really neat classes. sigh. It's just as well... I've had "no shows" at classes in the past, as well as individuals who claimed they weren't aware of a 'materials fee'.

Karen, thanks for your input. I'm certain that a fully woven star basket is just too difficult as a beginner's weaving class. People who have signed up for my classes have varied from being general crafters to being scissors-challenged, and I need to allow time for the latter type to complete the project during class time. I try to find weaving projects that give everyone a sense of accomplishment. My favorite students are the ones who are astonished that they're able to make something so pretty and functional! In a muffin basket class I offered, one woman kept saying her husband would never BELIEVE that she made it. lol!

Jeanne, if you were near me you wouldn't need to sign up. We could meet up any time you wanted to weave! :) But your comment about a long class is telling... a typical beginner basket takes at least 4 hours to weave. I pre-prep the materials and assist as much as possible to cram a weaving class/project into a 3 hour class, yet it seems too long for some people.

I'm still debating on offering the bells as a class. I realize that it's not a 'wow' object, but the technique I came up with is an excellent way for a beginner to start weaving and learn shaping technique.

Thank you all very much for your input!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 8:22AM
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marylee_2010

I love your bell design. I can see several different sizes hung one below the other on the front porch or patio. I suppose fans or place mats are probably too mundane for an interesting class. I really love baskets and I wish I had taken classes when they were offered here.

Marylee

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 10:25AM
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party_music50

Thanks for the 'thumbs up' on the bell, Marylee. I don't think placemats would be too mundane -- but students would probably only have enough time to weave one in a single class. It got me thinking though... maybe a single table mat (like for the center of the table) or set of coasters would be a good idea. I'll think about some prototypes to weave. Thanks for the suggestions!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 7:45AM
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party_music50

Thanks for the input everyone. I decided to offer classes for the woven bell ornament and a traditional shaker cat head basket (perfect for mini-muffins). And I used the 2nd pic above! We'll see what goes into the brochure... :)

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 6:28PM
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party_music50

Here's the report: I offered a class to make a Shaker Cat Head basket and a class to weave a bell ornament. No takers on the latter -- and the people in the cat head class told me "BASKETS... we want to weave BASKETS". lol! I take that to mean they want to weave utilitarian baskets. :O)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 5:19PM
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slinkey

PM..
When I first started reading this post,
I thought I was 'In The Twilight Zone' -
I could have sworn I read about this before... -
Then I looked at the post date - DUH -
and realized I Did !! lol
Well, I'm glad to hear a decision has been made
and who to better make it -
than the people you will be teaching!
Sounds like it will be a fun class for all.
Keep us posted on how things go...and good luck!
jane

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 5:47PM
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jeannespines

Oh, have fun, party! I, like, jane, had to do a double-take thinking I've seen this before! LOL!

This sounds like so much fun...enjoy your time out & about...& sharing your art! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 7:42PM
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