Sharon Massey creates a hand-dyed rattan basket.
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Materials and Tools:
different colors of fabric dye, magenta and orange
sprayer with water
1. Mix the magenta dye with water in a bucket according to the dye package instructions.
2. Place the vine rattan into the dye and let it sit for 20 minutes--up to two hours. The longer the rattan is in the dye, the darker the color (figure A).
3. Mix the orange dye with water in another bucket according to dye package instructions.
4. Place the 1/2-inch reed pieces into the orange dye and let it sit for 20 minutes--up to two hours. Remove the reed from the dye.
5. Remove most of vine rattan out of the dye and place it onto a newspaper or a towel. Keep the pieces you will be weaving in the water to keep it pliable.
6. Determine the width of the opening of the basket and the shape. Arrange a few pieces of the vine to form the desired shape. Hold the skeleton structure together with twist ties while creating your basket (figure B).
7. Randomly weave in and out of this structure. As your basket becomes thick enough to hold its shape remove the twist ties. Begin to shape as you move along by sitting the basket on the ground to form a flat bottom so it will stand up (figure C).
Metalsmith Victoria Moran Caluneo from Mill Neck, N.Y., loves nature, and it shows in her beautiful vessels.