Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Reed & Stone

Last week I decided to make my friend Margot a belated birthday gift.  She is very crafty herself and I wanted to make her something handmade so I thought I would have a go at wrapping rocks with basket material.  I have literally been collecting rocks for years and have jars and jars full of them.  Plus I used to be a basket maker and have a plethora of unused reed that has not seen the light of day since we moved here twelve years ago.

I have had this idea in my head since I saw the work of Del Webber on (if you haven't visited Elsa Mora's website you must go!).  Del's craftsmanship is amazing and I would love to learn how to do some of the more complicated wrapping techniques.

As you can see below I ended up making three so far, but hopefully this is only the beginning.  I would like to experiment with working in metal pieces or buttons.

I also loved photographing these.  Everything came together perfectly.  I have owned (and never used) these place mats for years and my mom had just given us a flower arrangement for our anniversary that included chrysanthemums.  It is so much fun to arrange all the elements and to see how they interact and come together to create something totally new.  Also, the light on the back porch was lovely and although you can't hear it through the photos, cicadas were singing in the background.  The photo below is one of my favorites...maybe because it reminds me of a piece of sushi.

As I was weaving around the rock below it reminded me of making God's eyes when I was young.  I can still picture my awkward and wonky creation hanging on the family room wall.  I think it hung there for decades.

I usually like to end with a quote but I couldn't find anything that perfectly suited this post so I wrote a short poem.

Around smooth stones
I spin cocoons
The stone and I transform

If you are interested in my work I invite you to visit


Jessica Jones said...

So lovely.

Jodi Christiansen said...

They are just beautiful, the reed looks so pristine and orderly against the smooth stones! You're so talented, I didn't know you had basket weaving skills in addition to all of your other talents.

Christina Wald said...


ElaineSH said...

Lovely - I'm glad you reached out to Eric and I about St. E. I am enjoying your website/blog. The stones looks so peaceful - serene maybe is a better word - they evoke a sense of calm in me.

Pamela Mason said...

I want to see your buttons.
I design Handbags

J.M. Griffin said...

Do you make tutorials for these? They are so calming, serene, and lovely! I feel better just by looking at them. Exceptional work.

Nessy said...

Thank you J.M. I don't currently make tutorials for them. I mostly just do it by trial and error. Glad you like them!

J.M. Griffin said...

I searched for books on the topic, but didn't find any. :~(
Your work is so beautiful, I'd like to try my hand at it.

Nessy said...


I haven't come across any books on it either. The closest thing you might get is a basket-weaving book. Are you in Cincinnati? I was thinking maybe this summer I might offer a few courses on block printing on fabric, but I could also have one on rock wrapping. I also recommend picking a design you like and just trying to make it. It is best to soak the reed first in helps it to tighten up when it dries.

J.M. Griffin said...

I live in Rhode Island. Years ago, I caned some chairs and realized things went better when the cane was wet. Easier to manipulate and better on my hands. :D Recently, I found a book called A Time to Weave by Jane Patrick. It has several weaving ideas that can be used for rocks, and one that is done with a rock. That's all I could find, but I'll take your advice and try my hand at easy designs and deconstruct them on paper before I give it a try. Thanks so much.

Nessy said...

I haven't heard of that book...I will check it out. If you've done caning you will have no problems. Let me know how it goes! I would love to see your work. -V

Lyng said...

I love these stones. Agree with many of the comments about them looking serene and peaceful. I made a basket with willow and try my hand at tapestry weaving. How do you finish the wrapping at the back to get the ends to stay in place?

Nessy said...

Thank you for your comments Lyng. I gave these stones away so I don't have them in front of me to see how I finished them. But I am sure I probably tucked the loose ends in around the back. I work with wet reed so when it dries it usually tightens up a bit and things hold snug.