Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Pine Needle Basket Workshop with Melissa

 Have you ever wanted to learn how to make pine needle baskets?  I am doing a class! 

tues mornings Aug 3 & 10 8:15 - 10:15am at Abi’s Art in downtown Lanesville, Gloucester, MA this summer.  I would provide a kit of beads, center, linen thread, and pine needles to make your first basket with 2 Tues Morning in person instruction sessions for a $99 for both sessions. There would be limited space check out my basket website: to see examples of my work and a bit about my Pine Needle Basket Journey.  

The kits I am making are really nice. This is a small project to get you started with the basics. You will learn the supplies you need to make more baskets, how to start a basket, how to coil and stitch with waxed irish linen thread, add beads, and wrap rows as well as finish your basket.  #pineneedlebasketry #melissaabbottdesigns #abisart  #gloucesterma #learnbasketry click to sign up for the pine needle basket workshop please. Limit 10 people so if you are interested sign up soon.  scroll thru to find date Aug to sign up for the class. Payment is by Venmo to Elizabeth DeAngelis ( Venmo address in link) All Materials provided in a kit.  Any questions or concerns or if you want to pay by cash or check please PM me.  Class will be held at Abi’s 4 Art in downtown Lanesville #gloucesterma #learntomakepineneedlebaskets

Link to sign up thru Facebook:

Link to Abi’s Art:

Friday, February 2, 2018

Swirling Prosperity

Green jasper cabochon and beads,  amethyst, chrysoprase, turquoise, and some glass beads with bees waxed irish linen thread. Florida Long leaf pine needles#merittisland #melissaabbottdesigns took one year for me to make 14”x14” by 3” high with an asymmetrical shape. “Swirling Prosperity”

Basket started winter 2017 in Merritt Island, FL and was worked on sporadically for 1 year. Finished on Feb 1, 2018 at Cocoa Beach, FL

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Heart Healer

Finished this Pine Needle Basket started in 2016 yesterday in #merrittisland #florida #pineneedlebasket #melissaabbottdesigns #paua #ruby #rosequartz #baskets

Paua Shell in center, Amethyst Beads, Ruby Zoisite ( most expensive ones in Basket), Rose Quartz, and some Czech glass beads in a few rows. Irish Waxed Linen thread, beeswax from my hives... Pine needles sourced on Merritt Island Florida after a windstorm in 2016.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Willow Lobster/Crab Traps as made in the UK called Withy Pots

 "Withy" trap made for catching crabs in the UK. 
Withy Pots are the East Devon Style from Budleigh Salterton in Devon, UK. Dave French's family has made them for generations.
Dave French making a Crab/Lobster Pot out of Willow. This type of pot is called a "Withy" Pot.  He learned this craft from his grandfather. It is a dying art and virtually unknown in the USA. I have to say I am completely intrigued. My husband lobsters in Gloucester, MA with a non commercial license so I am familiar with lobstering. As a basket maker it seems like a possible fun project to try making one of two of these pots!

Dave uses bricks to weigh down the pot, tying them to the sides of the pot to stop it moving about. Apparently they use these in small trawls with bouys on either end just like we do in Gloucester, MA.
The start of the pot is done on this wooden pillar which holds and stabilizes the beginning weave.

One of Dave's students making a full size Withy Pot.

Weaving the bottom of the Pot

Trimming off the entrance 

Skeevers or sticks are used to hold the bait in the trap. I imagine they use a whole fish like they did in the old days in the wooden traps we used. My Dad always put a whole fish on a nail. These days we use bait bags. 

I met Dave French on a basket weavers group on Facebook. He sent me these photos. I am completely intrigued! 

You can do a search on Facebook for Dave French. He doesn't appear to have a website but he was very nice to share these photos with me. 
Now.... Where do I find a nice willow tree?

Happy Basket Making,
Melissa Abbott

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Nantucket Basket Making Lesson with Martha Lawrence

I found out that Nantucket Basket Maker, Author, and Authority Martha Lawrence is living an hour and half south of me in Florida where I reside in the winter months. She is the author of "Lightship Baskets of Nantucket" one of my all time favorite books on these very special baskets.
I contacted her and she agreed to give me a lesson and we started off with a basic 6 inch Basket. 

Martha is delightful, knowledgable and very charming. I was thrilled to get to work with her and learn some techniques, tips, and tricks.

Putting the rim on the basket was a cinch with Martha's expertise and techniques!

I wove as tightly as I could!

After my 2nd day of weaving!

The very beginnings... Getting those staves lined up and straight!
A collection of Monnie's Baskets. She is an advanced student if Martha's and definitely inspiring! What work!!

Some other molds and projects at Martha's in process!!

These are Martha Lawrence's  set of nesting baskets from her private collection displayed at her studio. 

My finished basket! What a special basket. I loved making it and I promise to keep it always! Thank you Martha!!