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I've been making baskets and teaching basketmaking since 1988. The science and art of making a basket has been a joyful discovery for me.
A notable element that sets my baskets apart from many other baskets are the handles, ears, skates and rims that I carve from very large reed using a shave horse and drawknife. The handles are smooth and shiny because of the application of 3 coats of lacquer with a fine sanding in between each coat. Be sure to check this out if you ever find yourself face-to-face with one of my baskets. You'll find yourself saying, "these baskets feel so soft, yet so strong, like they'll last a lifetime". And they can with very little effort.
I dye my own reed to guarantee colorfastness and color quality. I strive for deep, rich, vibrant colors. My baskets are all hand-shaped (no molds are ever used), therefore, no two are exactly alike. Each basket has a thin coat of mineral oil applied to preserve and protect it. You can do the same every year or two.
To care for your basket simply use the dusting attachment on your vacuum cleaner to gently remove dust. If stained or soiled, use a drop of mild detergent, a toothbrush and cold water on the area that has the stain. Reed is woven wet so water will not hurt it, however, some colors have the potential to bleed if heavily soaked. I highly suggest keeping any basket out of direct sunlight or fading and drying will occur.