The Language of Native American Baskets The Weavers' Aesthetic The Weavers' Aesthetic
Introduction The Weavers' View Techniques, Tools & Workplaces The Weavers' Aesthetic Burden Baskets A Set of Values Basketmaking Associations
Materials
Starts and Finishes
Materials
Shape
Design Field
  “My family and I always say that when you weave a basket, it brings out your personality. And you can see those ladies were happy, with all the colors and patterns, and that they cared about every stitch that they put in, and they didn’t count the stitches.”
—Julia Parker, Pomo
  Splices and workfaces

Before looking at a basket and suggesting it was made clockwise or counterclockwise, the viewer must consider which side of weaving faced the weaver—usually the neater surface. Two basketry bowls can resemble each other in every detail, but be coiled in opposite directions. Haida and Tlingit baskets seem to be woven in the same way, but in this case appearance is deceiving: Haida women work with the basket upside down. In twining flat trays, the weaver must constantly change the workface to keep the work direction and twists uniform. When this is not done, the stitches form V’s—an unusual and distinctive method used by only a few tribes.

All types of basketry require the weaver to make splices when a weft color changes or a sewing thread gets too short. Strands can be wrapped around each other or caught under adjacent stitches. In twining, warp rods are added or subtracted to change the diameter of a basket, their ends chewed or trimmed and stuck between existing warps. Sewing thread may be trimmed on the inside or outside surface of a basket, or hidden in the foundation bundle. Threads may be left long and caught under succeeding stitches, trimmed flush with the surface, or finished as slight protrusions or nubs. Within cultures, rules concerning the treatment of ends are so strictly followed that this detail can be used to help identify baskets.
 
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