Meet the Crafters: Savoie Baskets

May 1, 2017 | Halifax Crafters Society

Doris-Ann Savoie of Savoie Baskets is gearing up for her first Halifax Crafters Market and we’re so excited to introduce her to you! Doris-Ann designs beautiful baskets for many clever uses including an awesome bicycle basket and baskets to hold all your knitting supplies (all you knitters know, that stuff gets out of control in a hurry!) Learn more about Doris-Ann and the intricate process of basket making below:

What do you make?

I hand weave mostly traditional utilitarian baskets from a rattan fibre called reed. I like to know that I can make a basket that can be used and handed down to another generation if taken care of.

What’s your process?

I start planning in my head what the next basket will be. An idea can come from a vintage basket that I already have in my home or that I see somewhere else. I like looking at old baskets and visualize how they were made and go from there. The more modern ones mostly come from a pattern that I find and sometime I just start weaving with not really an idea in mind and just go with it. From there, I cut my reed  different  length’s and give it a good soaking in water. I then lay out the ribs of the basket like a frame of a house then I start weaving with smaller size reeds adding colour here and there until it’s the shape I’m looking for. I let the basket usually dry overnight then pack it down firmly the day after and then I add the inside and outside rim and lash it together with a fine piece of flat oval reed. The last process would be the staining. I use 2 different blends, either and oil blend using hemp oil and a dark wax which I mix together or I also use walnuts. I make a big batch of dye using dark walnuts, and then I strain them and use the liquid as a nice earthy primitive dye. I also stain my bicycle baskets with Polyurethane to make them waterproof.

How long have you been a crafter?

I have always been crafting with something since I can remember. If it involves creating something with my hands and my thoughts, I try my hand at it. But I started basket weaving about 4 years ago.

What is your backround/how did you get started?

I don’t have any educational background in basket weaving besides taking a class with some ladies in Sackville NB and carried on from there.  I have been collecting baskets for years either from basket weavers or buying antique/vintage baskets.  They are my favorite. I love to look at old baskets and wonder how they were made and one day I decided I was going to try it myself and so I did.

When you’re not selling at Crafters markets, where can I find your work?

You can find me on Facebook  and Instagram 

I also have a few baskets on Etsy 

I have taken over the living room in our house and clients also can come to see me and shop there.

What are you excited about seeing at the Spring Market?

I’m very excited in meeting new people at this Market and hopefully they will like my baskets. I’m exploring new horizons and stepping out of my comfort zone and my province of New Brunswick. I am really looking forward in meeting all the great vendors that are lined up for this event and learn things from them. It’s my first time at this Market and it looks like it has a great atmosphere. I am  truly grateful  to have been chosen to be a vendor here.

What inspires you to create?

I get my inspiration from looking at old baskets. I get inspired being around people who also like to create. There is nothing better than going to a show like this and walking around and it gets me so inspired to get creating again.

Where do you do your work?

I do my work mostly in the colder months from October-May. I weave my baskets in the basement where I have my little messy workshop. It’s mainly done in the evenings sometimes after work and on the weekends.  My partner gets a fire going in the wood stove and I weave and listen to whatever hubby is watching on TV. It’s a nice cozy atmosphere.

Three things you need in order to create?

I need lots of time, space and energy.

A favorite quote?

“Courage is not the absence of fear but the acquired ability to move beyond fear.” Mathiew Kelly

What’s your favorite way to procrastinate?

Sitting with my iPad and looking at old baskets online and looking way too much on Instagram.