Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Traditional Maori Flax Basket (Kete)

Last week I called into a friends for a coffee and she had a pile of beautiful baskets she had just finished weaving so in passing i asked if she could teach me, next minute she had a pair of cutting tools in her hand and off down the garden we went where she cut long leaves of flax and showed me how to strip and soften them and then we both worked side by side on a basket each so she could show me what to do. I made a pipi-picking kete a while ago but didn't really know what I was doing (and Tangaroa ended up being gifted with it after a big wave slapped me from behind whilst I was bent over gathering Pipis (Grin)).

I am thrilled with mine - after we had woven down the top edges I was concerned that they might unravel as the Kete dried and I had the inspiration to shred the flax and then knot the different strands together right around the rim. I've also threaded some slipper shells on some strands from one of the local beaches. It's drying a lovely golden yellow almost so very pleased. On Friday we are meeting again to weave together - I have already made some grass handles for the next Kete so can't wait to try them and see if they work.
Have called the work "Feels Like Home"

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