Basket Weaving with the Basketmaker’s Guild
If you have never done any basket weaving, you may be missing out on something. Basket weaving had never been a skill that I aspired to learn, however, when I wove my first basket a year ago, i confess that I REALLY enjoyed it.
One year ago, I, along with other art teachers in Pinellas county, was invited to come and make a basket with the Tampa Bay Basketmaker’s Guild. We were invited again this year. Today I made another basket. And I’m hooked. Several of us signed up to make another next month.
Much More Than Just Basket Weaving
Now, basket weaving is fun. There is a kind of joy in using your hands to make something and at the end you have a product! An actual article that you can use. So there is much to be said for the activity itself.
But it is NOT the activity that makes this group so much fun. No. Mostly it is this group itself. They have a very special character, a great “vibe”.
A Creative Game
I’ll give you an example of one of the activities that they do each year. In May, each member who wants to participate brings a large paper grocery bag of various weaving materials to the meeting. Other members pick up the bags. The ones who drop them off don’t know who gets their materials. Over the next couple of months, the weavers create something from the materials that were distributed, adding one item. In September, they have the big reveal and gift back the item that was made to the person who brought the materials.
You can see how interested the receiver is and how proud the giver is in the photos above.
Making the Group Come Alive
I talked briefly with a couple of the board members of the group, Mary Lou and Jan. Jan told me that when she and Mary Lou first joined, they looked back in time to see what kinds of baskets had been done before. Then they introduced the members to new basket methods and techniques. They created a bigger purpose for the group than just getting together and weaving. They made it a learning endeavor. And they’re always keeping it fresh!
They also offer donations to various charities, including teachers. They encourage members to participate in entering items in the fair. And they have a raffle game where participation in different activities give them more raffle tickets. I’m not sure exactly how it works, but it looked like it was fun. They’re always reaching out to others.
So if you’re interested in something new and unique to do with friends, or you want to make some new creative friends. Contact a basket weaving group. The Tampa Bay Basketmaker’s Guild will always welcome you!