Kathy's basket making habit began with her mother some 20 years ago.
Her mom started weaving baskets while Kathy was living overseas. When
she moved back home, her mom gave her a handmade basket. Great as a
handmade basket is, that one came with a string attached. If Kathy
wanted any more...she'd have to learn to make them herself.
With that, Kathy and her mom began taking classes together and went on
weaving for years before becoming involved in other activities. Making
only an occasional basket for a gift here and there, Kathy was on to
other things. Years passed and Kathy's conversations with her friend
Nina lead to reminiscing about how they used to weave baskets.
Reminiscing lead to a renewed interest, which in turn lead to finding
new classes. It was a very long time ago when Kathy and Nina began
their Tuesday night classes with Helen Springer. All those years ago,
their classes were at Create-A-Craft where Helen was teaching. When the
doors at Create-A-Craft closed; the doors at The Basket Sampler opened
and the rest is history.
When Kathy talks about her most enjoyable aspects of basket weaving,
one can understand why she went back to it. She says that when ordinary
materials like prepared rattan, plants from the garden or fields, or
even yarns or fabric, can be turned in to something functional; that is
her favorite part. Kathy likes the versatility and says that, "The
basket can be really simple or very challenging, depending on what you
want to get out of it. With a few minor changes the same basic basket
can be made to look many different ways. You can make free form one of
kind pieces, or try to make something that has an historic appeal to
it. After 20 years of weaving, there is always something new to try.
Weavers themselves are a great group of people, always willing to share
what they have learned."
On the best of the basket memories, Kathy is like most all weavers.
It's the friendship developed over time and creating together. In
class, there is a common bond of weaving, but beyond that, she enjoys
the bonds that develop through conversation. Class time chat covers all
sorts of interesting life events like child birth, a new grand child,
success at work or school, a death of loved one, and even dogs that
chew up your new carpet. At convention, it doesn't stop. You can find
teachers that go out of their way to help with a problem or offer
encouragement to support you in trying something new. Kathy has a fond
memory of her class with Grace Kabel taken a few years ago and says she
now wishes she had taken more opportunities to learn in her classes.
Like Kathy and Nina, many of the students today were in some way
associated with Create-A-Craft all those years. We don't really know if
Helen brought the students or if the students brought Helen, but we do
know that Linda keeps us all together and we consider ourselves
fortunate. We wonder if PJ knows what a bond was created at his store
all those years ago.