We are fortunate to have here in the Pacific NW of the U.S. abundant bamboo growing in yards, in farms, and in nurseries. One of largest bamboo nurseries in Oregon is Bamboo Garden. They have more than 100 varieties of bamboo and have a well established grove of giant timber bamboo. The Garden is just up the road from Issoan Tea School and we have taken field trips and learned about the life cycle of bamboo as well as taken a tour of the grounds to look at all kinds of bamboo.
This past weekend, they offered a bamboo basket making workshop taught by Stephen Jensen, who studied basket making at the Oita Prefectural Bamboo Craft and Training Support Center located in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, Japan.
Stephen prepared the bamboo strips (it took him a couple of weeks to prepare them for our class), and in a couple of hours, Stephen led us through the steps to make a beautiful Shikainami basket. It means four ocean wave basket.
The beautiful undulating top and open weave may look simple, but it took us a couple
of hours to finish. He also provided a demonstration of preparing the materials and some examples of his more intricate work. I am coveting his sumi kago or charcoal basket among others.
to keep them flexible. We started by laying out the 8 vertical strips