Monday, November 22, 2021

Learn Pine Needle Basketry

Attn: Fiber Artists, Naturalists, Foragers, Creatives, Meditators, Stitchers, Observers, and Basket Makers!
Ever want to learn Pine Needle Basketry? We are meeting next Tues Nov 23 9-11:30am Abi's 4 Art 1072 Washington Street Gloucester, MA( last meeting of 2021 and if there is interest will resume alternate Tuesdays in 2022) 
Kits are $50 with all you need to make a basket or I can give you a list of what you need. Drop in $10, bring your baskets and ideas. PM if you are interested and I will send the deets! 1078 Washington St., Gloucester, MA Elizabeth Huntsman DeAngelis Meghan Helfant Lara Keeley Wosepka @championwing @melissaabbottyoga @bee3muise @meghanhelfant0420  @larathenp

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Little 5” Pine Needle Basket I made at the Abi’s 4 Art Workshop Aug 2021

This is the little 5”wide by 11/2” high Pine Needle Basket I started making @abis4art in the Pine Needle Basket Workshop I had there on Aug 3 & 10. My intention was to produce a small project with basic Pine Needle Basketry skills like starting a basket with a cabochon glued on leather, using 4ply Waxed Irish Linen to stitch the basket with three basic stitches - an overcasting the bundle single stitch, a solid wrap stitch, placing beads on top of the bundle, putting beads between the rows, and finishing the basket with a tapered row.  I have actually never made a Pine Needle Basket this small, altho I have made small nantucket baskets previously.  Here is the finished Demo basket using the same kit, I gave everyone else to use. It is so interesting to see how everyone’s is so different so if you finish your basket please post it. If anyone else is interested in future Pine Needle Basket Workshops,  please message me. I am planning one for the fall.  I know there were a few people who wanted to come but were busy. Message me your best times and I will coordinate #pineneedleart #pineneedlebasketweaving #pineneedlebaskets #gloucesterma #capeann #rockportma #melissaabbottdesigns #abis4art @shadrach13 @meghanhelfant0420 @bee3muise @kesterson @championwing @lnatts @larathenp @rosewosepka @juliehaselgardkesterson

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