The previous shower basket/ hold all thing -I have no idea what they are called- was a purchased one made of white plastic coated steel. With time the plastic had cracked (as you can see in the picture above), and the rusting steel began dripping dark stains on the tiles, so it had to go. An electrician supplies me his off cuts, short pieces of cable which are plastic coated copper which, of course, does not rust, so that was the chosen material. The looping technique works well with this and provides the open structure the basket needs to allow water to drain through. The tricky bit was getting the flexible looped structure stiff enough to support the lower tray for the soap without it flopping forward, but woven densely enough it works. I made it very quickly without much planning and although it works very well I will probably do another one, one day, in order to hone some details.
The fire screen has been needed for a long time to prevent sparks burning the wooden floor or setting light to the willow sofa, but also to hide the ugly black hole in the summer. The problem here was that the fireplace is large so most screens available in the shops or at bric a bracs are not big enough. I live in a modest single storey village house with a cow barn at one end but it is also a house with pretensions because, oddly, it has a fireplace fit for a chateau. We think a stone mason lived here once because the masons symbol was carved into the lintel over a doorway on an outbuilding, and that he built this extraordinary fireplace to show off his handiwork to prospective customers.
Some yellow and black aluminium beer cans were chosen for the task because they are reasonably fire proof and the colours seemed appropriate for the room. Cut down vertically, but still attached to the bases of the tins, the strips were spread out and interwoven.
This needed to be big enough to take all the usual junk for a day at the beach; towels, hats, books, iris leaves, etc, and be easy to carry on the walk from the car to the sand. Milk cartons seemed an appropriate material, being semi -waterproof, but I didn't want to weave them because the resulting weave could never be tight enough to keep the sand out, so in the end I stitched them together. The handles are made from electric cable that I pulled the wires out of so that they are soft and flexible and easy on the shoulder. Now all we need is some good weather so it can be properly tested.
The brief to myself was; a bag to use in the summer, light in colour, to be worn across my body to free up my hands and arms, not too big, just for phone, camera and purse. Initially I was tempted to replicate the juice carton bag I made for Paul Smith in 1997 ( there is picture of it in this post ). At his request it was a 'Kelly Bag' and though I like the design very much, I didn't want a bag with a handle that I have to hold on to for my own use. The last time I went out with one like this I left it in a park! Since designing the Paul Smith version I have learnt that double wall tetra pak is a lot more robust, so double wall plaiting was the chosen technique. The edges are reinforced with bailer twine and I then added a magnetic catch and a brass plug chain (both left over from the Paul Smith sample making), as well as a crown cap for the 'button' on the front. It functions very well and does everything I ask of it, but after using it for a couple of weeks I am not absolutely sure that the colour of the stitching is right and I may change it, or make another bag!