Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Traditional Pitcairn Island basket

LOL well not quite traditional as it is not made out of natural fibres like they use to in the old days ... but now they make them out of pallet strapping (not off cuts but they use an actual roll!)   While there on the island I made a basket and off course I just had to make mine different and I ended up adding a lid to mine, I bought this back to NZ and my sister ended up with it.
So once back here in OZ I endeavoured to find a place that sells this direct to the public and found one just up the road.  Back on the island they use a variety of colours and it is sourced from NZ.  My Aunt Olive has beautiful colours and when my Nana was alive she also made the baskets although her colours were limited to the traditional colours of blue, green and white.
The different colours tend to represent the different tensile strengths of the strapping and some can be very pliable and easy to work with while some can be down right stiff and rip your fingers to bits!!!
So while doing a very extensive search on the internet here in Oz I realise the colour choices here a limited to blue, blue, blue, blue and for something really different ... blue.  They do have the black and green and white but they are not very pliable.  So not wanting to rush things I try to think of a solution to add a little colour to my basket and since I love to think outside the square I came up with adding ribbon.  So off I go to Spotlight in search of a coordinating ribbon and large button(s).
Now armed with my bike and trailer I set off to get my 1km roll of blue 12mm strapping.  Once home I used the box that a carving came in as my template so my basket is around 35cm x 15cm x 28cm, it also has a lid and an elastic strap to hook it around a button.
Here is the end result ...

I did have a few problems with it but in the end I found easier ways to do things, namely the pocket is easier to put on the outside rather than the inside of the bag!   I  love how the ribbon just adds that little bit of colour and the buttons are a great way to embellish it!  Definitely by plaiting the elastic to close the lid is a lot better than a single elastic strap as it made it look tacky!
Next basket I made is one without a lid.

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