rush

On our allotment a kind of rush grows wild. It is not the actual bullrush that is used for seats and basketry but a smaller type. I am not sure, it could be juncus conglomeratus or juncus effesus.

I have dried and sorted the rushes lengthwise. This is easily done by taking a small bundle and tap it with the butt ends on the table, so that all the butt ends are aligned. Then you pinch the longest ends in the top end and pull them upright out of the bundle. Now you have selected the longest rushes. And so on.

I didn´t know at that point what to do with it, but some books helped me on the way. The books are mentioned below. You can make cordage, plaits and baskets.

I tried my hand on some baskets. Some recipes are ment for bullrush, and I made the baskets smaller because my rush is smaller.

small baskets juncus sp, paper yarn

Above are some tiny baskets, with a diameter of about 5 cm. The outer right is made from colored paper yarn.

Below are some baskets that were designed to be breadbasket. In this size they could for example be a place for jewelry like rings.

baskets, rush sp.

I like it what the camera does when you hold the basket up to the light.

Finally an openworked basket with a rounded bottom. It could stand in sand or it can hang around.

basket juncus sp

The baskets are based on recipes from the books:

Flechten mit Naturmaterial by Jette Mellgren. This book is about the harvest and preparation of materials you can find in the different seasons, for example willowbark, cattail, spruce and many more, accompanied by examples and recipes for baskets. The book I have is in german.

Rush basketry, weaving with eight makers, compiled by Claire Murphy. This book is completely about rush, and it contains excellent descriptions by eight rush workers for preparations, cordage, seats and several types of baskets and bags. As well as some history.

And a vintage book in Dutch: Mandvlechten in woord en beeld by Barbara Maynard. Half of the book is about cane, and the other half about rush so there is useful information in here too.

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