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OVAL BASKETS : Page 130


Melon Shaped Basket

Materials; 1 21-inch spoke of No. 5 rattan,

1 23-inch spoke of No. 6 flat rattan, 8 10-inch spokes of No. 6 flat rattan, 20 or more lengths of narrow splint, A piece of fine wire 5 or 6 inches long.

Although melon shaped baskets are graceful and attractive in form, the workman who undertakes to weave one will need a good stock of patience and skill, for they are among the most difficult baskets to make shapely and strong. On general principles it is well to have the spoke material as strong and unyielding as possible, while the weavers should be

Fig. 28

very pliable yet firm. Raffia is hard to manage as a weaver and rattan, unless it is unusually pliable, will break in making the sharp turns over the edge of the melon basket. The one in the picture is made of heavy round rattan for the edge, flat rattan for the spokes and handle, and narrow splint, such as is used by the Indians, for the weaver. The ten-inch spokes are first whittled to a gradual point at each end, a point from two and a half to three inches long. The ends of the twenty-three inch spoke of flat rattan are also pointed in the same way. The twenty-one inch spoke of No. 5 rattan is slit, for half an inch, in the centre and

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