Sunday, May 23, 2010

project #15: map basket

My friend Jen and I used to go to Border's a lot when we were in college. We went there so often that we made up a name for a cashier that we saw there almost ever visit. We dubbed him John Paul, but his real name was Kevin. He had very impressive dark curly hair and he was nice and tall. Once Jen said he was flirting with me while he rung me up. I did not notice. Fact.

Anyway, on one of these visits to the land of books I discovered Craft Magazine. I was instantly in love. The first issue I bought had the instructions for how to weave a basket out of old maps. I had recently acquired many maps upon learning that I could get them free from Mr. Grape in the Harold B. Lee Library on campus (second floor through the science section) so this was the perfect craft! Of course it only took me like 2 years to get around to finishing it. No big deal.

 This is attempt number 1. I misunderstood the directions and wove half of one side with half of another, instead of the two halves of the same side together. It reminded me a little bit of a jester's hat or something. I couldn't figure out why the holes near the bottom of the basket wouldn't disappear, but once I realized my mistake it all became clear.

You can see that the bottom curves inwards pretty dramatically. I was fairly certain that no amount of reshaping, even efforts made overnight, would correct its awkward shape. My mom suggested that maybe the points could work like feet and if I exaggerated them by folding the creases more sharply than it would look intentional and kind of cool instead of like a mistake. She was definitely on to something, but I wanted to make the basket like it was supposed to be made, so I decided to take it apart and start over.

Surprisingly the un-weaving hardly took any time at all and luckily the maps were no worse for the wear. The second finished basket looked a lot more like what I had been expecting. Notice that the bottom is now slightly rounded outwards instead of crazily concave and pointy. Let's be honest, as interesting looking as the jester basket was, this one is much, much prettier.

When I finished I folded the stray ends around each other and wove them back inside so you can't see where they end. In the instructions it said to just weave them back in a little bit and then snip off the extra, but I don't see any reason why you can just weave them in until they're hidden completely with no snipping at all. It can only make it stronger, right? Plus, no waste. This basket was made using two full aeronautical maps, if I remember correctly.

Here you can see it sitting on my (newly cleaned off) desk. It measures about 5 in. by 8 in. I was pretty pleased with how it eventually turned out. Now that I've sort of got the hang of how weaving works I want to try and make a basket that is more shallow and oblong in shape, sort of like the yellow basket you can see to the left in the picture. I figure the idea is the same as this map basket but the base would be rectangular instead of square and some of the weavers could be shorter than others. Maybe 1/3 of the length or something? I'm not exactly sure, but it's definitely something to think about.

PS I made this entire project, reworks and all, while watching the show Lie To Me on Hulu. I am pretty much obsessed (and think you should be too).

No comments: