Interior with Fisherwives

I spend far too much time sifting through on-line art galleries and images.  We have unprecedented access to these things as never before in history.  I recommend, for your sanity, take a little time to use these resources and exit from the world of sensational news and other half-cocked garbage spewed out by the electronic ton.

Aloïs Boudry (12 August 1851, Ypres – 27 November 1938, Antwerp) was a Belgian painter known for his portraits, still lifes, and interiors.  Click for larger image.

The Dutch (or in this case Belgian-born) masters are not a bad place to start for some relatively recent history.  Honestly, this is not a favorite of mine but I really love the interactive ladies.  Okay, I’m really in it for the packbasket.  These images, showing the way people actually lived, take me back in time.

A Nice Pack Basket

If you know me at all you know that I am interested in pack baskets.  Because of this, they catch my eye when I’m browsing historic images. 

I could find no information whatsoever about this one.  I suspect maybe Tibet in the early 20th century?  Pack baskets have been underrated in the west.  I’m glad to see more and more of them used in the primitive technology, bushcraft, and survival communities.  I love the one I made but I know there are even better ones out there.

I was interested in the harness system here.  It seems to sling around the entire basket for support.  It took me some time and effort to come up with one I liked for mine but based on some historic examples, I was able to come up with one that worked.

Enjoy a little preindustrial technology today.

Pack Basket

In a fit of energy I got around to putting proper and better shoulder straps on my pack basket made last summer.  The pack is willow and the leather work is approximately 10 oz. Hermann Oak harness leather.

Once the leather ages a bit they will be beautiful and rustic-looking.

Willow Pack Baskets!

Bridgette and I worked on some willow basketry last week at the Echoes in Time gathering in Champoeg, Oregon.  We spent the week with our friend Mick and his family with his fantastic vardo.

20140720_083456

I have wanted a new pack basket for quite a while and the great Oregon basketmakers provided some excellent materials for the class.  I only had eight students for the frame-saw class I was teaching so I was able to work in some baskets around the teaching schedule.  I would have loved to document the whole process but I am such a novice that it would have taken three times as long and disrupted the flow of the basket in ways I wasn’t prepared to deal with.

20140721_175636Here is the first round of basket making including the base, addition of spokes, and working with weavers.  The various colors come from the different willows harvested at different times.  For those truly interested in the weave, this basket consists primarily of wales and rands with the addition of a rim and a foot to protect the bottom.

PackBasketsI’ve made a few other basketry projects under good instructors but this is, by far, my biggest effort to date.  I really hope to dive into this craft more deeply sometime in the future.  Enough for now, back to Making stuff (right after my nap).

Pack Box

Continuing my search for backpacks and rucksacks throughout history, I keep coming across various types of boxes and baskets strapped to people’s backs.  While querying the web today for variations of the Asian pack box, I saw this nifty solution.  Cheap, easy to construct and extremely functional.

I can imagine this as an excellent platform for a street performer or busker.  Solidly built, this can be a table or a seat and provides a high degree of protection for the contents.  This one is very simply built and harkens back to a medieval concept but note the sweet dovetails holding it together.  I just want a peek inside.  I would be sorely tempted to fill it with compartments.

More nifty ideas to follow.