Friday, 18 October 2013

Variations on a theme


Most of the time the pieces I weave are based on lessons learned back when I started, or extensions from the workshops I've attended more recently. I'll see a basket in real life, or a picture and it will set my mind churning along. My plant supports very much tell me how they want to be woven, unless, of course, I've been asked for something specific.

Occasionally I'll come across a project in a book that captures my imagination; and a recent purchase, Weiden flechten by Birgit Ostergaard-Jensen, had an idea for a woven lantern that absolutely captivated me. The limited instructions are in German, translated from Danish - neither of which I speak - and the resultant lantern is a bit unfinished at the top for my tastes. So, I put the book away and set out to make my own version. Emma Silverpebble came over to try the first version - which turned out very well. A simple single spiral, a basic rod border and a Bonne Maman jar completed it.

First attempts
I couldn't stop there. The single spiral didn't really do it for me balance wise, and next I tried a zigzag weave with the hope that it would add stability without stopping the light too much. It did work, but still wasn't quite what I was after. A double spiral maybe? Ah yes, that's more like it.

Double spiral

I thought about those old fashioned Guy Fawkes type lanterns , with windows and doors - and inspired by this, my next version was much more pleasing. I also fiddled about with making a hanging attachment and I think it worked very well indeed.

Hanging lantern
Of course, the final test is the way they look when darkness falls and the candles are lit ...

Night falls

I'm ridiculously pleased with these. And having tested them and being happy that they're not about to burst into flames (though I would only use them outside and as with any candles, wouldn't leave them unattended), I've decided to put them on Etsy in case you'd like one too. Battery operated tealights would mean they could be hung up inside when it's too cold to venture out to light them.

I'm thinking these will be just as lovely in the winter as in the warmer evenings - but what about you? Do candles say autumn/winter snuggling up, or warm summer evenings sitting out with a glass of wine?