Basket Gathering odds and ends

Before moving on to my adventure in Papua New Guinea, here are some bits and pieces, odds and ends from the Basket Gathering that I didn’t mention earlier:

-I got to hold a baby wombat!  So cute and furry. Rosie was her name, 8 months old. She will eventually be released back to the wild.

-The guild from Canberra made a pitch to host the next Gathering in 2013 – and got the nod from the group. Lots of exciting plans in the works for that. Now, how can I get back for that one?!?!?

-I taught a small group how to do jiseung – Korean method of handspinning hanji (Korean made paper). Some caught on quickly, some not so quick, some decided this was definitely not something they would do again, others were delighted.

-Anne showed me how to do the wire technique from Africa – it is like doing row after row of simple rims, just very tight and close.  Kinda cool.

-Had a  laundry routine for the week – wash/rinse out while taking a shower and then let the breezes do the drying.

-One thing that they have in Tas is kelp! Lots of folks were trying their hand at using bull kelp to make containers of various sizes (necklace to table).

-The Gathering typically holds a basket exchange for anyone interested in doing it. Anne talked me into submitting one of my little twined sculpture class samples – funky looking, but kinda cute.  I was delighted with the hanging kelp piece I got in exchange. The gal who got my piece wasn’t quite as sure… LOL

-A wonderful range of basketry techniques and materials on display in the ‘gallery’ – really quite inspiring.

-I used some New Zealand flax in a couple slapped together baskets with the hope that the customs folks in the US wouldn’t mind baskets coming in with me. The official didn’t even ask to see them. The intent is to cut them apart and use the material for papermaking!

-One of the Tasmanian members (Karen G) did  a presentation on her work with school kids in Sikim (sp?) in India near Bhutan. The most inspiring part of it all was that she is retired and on a whim clicked on a website ad for ‘an adventure helping others’ (or something like that). Her family was aghast but she goes to Sikim for three months at a time (visa restrictions) teaching English and then has been doing some fundraising when she is home. She raised enough at the Gathering to put in windows in the new school being built – a terrific response from the group.

-I hitched a ride with Karen back to Hobart at the end of the Gathering and found out that she plays violin and viola professionally in local orchestras. Coll lady!

-Reunited with Beth from my trip to New Zealand in 2004 – great fun!

-Had a chance to get to know Tasmania Di (a friend of some of my other US basket friends) – what a hoot! And a hard worker.

-Connected with Suzie, Carolyn and Genease from Sydney – they will be waiting for my return from PNG!

-Had trouble getting an internet connection: the local internet cafe had a new owner and was just getting in service the Monday right before we were to leave.

-Native chooks (hens) roamed the camp grounds regularly. Bright green poop in  the grass!

-Love the range of ‘arty’ clothes in AU – lots of slanted hemlines on tops and skirts, layers and leggings.

-The other US attendee, Sandy W, was on a hunt for colors of dirt – which was right up my alley! We drove out one day with Di and Tracee, finding a local young farmer, Ben, who thought we were quite daft but gave permission to roam his property. Collected five different colors of mud.

-Karen had a cushion from her ‘family’ in Sikim which she presented as  challenge one evening: how was it made? A half dozen people with about as many bottles of wine and we came up with a very plausible solution to the technique challenge. No one actually did more than a start, though, which was probably a good thing! I MAY give it a shot, now that I”m home…

-The last day of the Gathering dawned with a storm warning for the east coast – which we were close enough to worry about. Lots of rain and wind but nothing more. It did make the clean-up rather soggy.

-A truly wonderful experience at the Basketry Gathering – many thanks to all the hard working gals and guys! It was lovely to just attend!

-Di and Chris came by for a late dinner (pumpkin soup and veggie tortellini – yummy) at the Airport Hotel in Hobart when I got in – and another round of good-byes.

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