Treebreeze's Yucca Mushroom Basket

Discussion in 'Arkansas' started by treebreeze, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. treebreeze

    treebreeze Tracker

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    A little backstory on this:

    About 4 weeks ago my wife and I quit smoking, the first week was real hell! I felt like I needed to do something to keep busy (both my hands and my mind). After some thought I decided to make some cordage. Years ago, when I made cordage we used spruce root, although, that was in Michigan. So I had to find something locally, a short stroll in the woods produced a few plants that seemed good enough for cordage. When I brought them back home to make cord they ended up being very brittle and would not stand up to the forces of twisting and turning. well come to find out, the answer lied about a 100 yards from my front door. I don't believe the Yucca plant is native to Arkansas being I've never seen it in the forest, but I find it all over in peoples yard. I asked a few friends if they would mind if I harvest some and no one had a problem with it, besides some strange looks. I took a few leaves here and there not to harm the plant. I was surprised how tough the fibers in the leaves were, twisted into cord it proved very durable.

    the Yucca Plant

    Yucca.jpeg

    Yucca leave (left), cord (right)

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    After a several nights of making cord I had about 30', heres a pic of about 12' cord roughly 1/8" in diameter.

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    I had my fill of making cord every night so I took a shot at finger weaving. It was pretty awkward at first but I quickly got used to the movements. After the first night and several attempts I got about half way done with the lower section.

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    The next night and several more attempts I finished the lower section. I added a loop as well so I could hang it on a belt or backpack.

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    Continued on next post
     
  2. AZExplorer

    AZExplorer Tracker

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    Very nice job, that cordage looks very tight. When I was younger one of our local historians mentioned that they found artifacts from the Hohokam with the weave so tight on the yucca basket that it could hold water! That is an incredible skill to be able to make cordage and weave a basket like you did. I need to try this out, yucca is very common all over the desert here. Thank you for sharing
     
  3. treebreeze

    treebreeze Tracker

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    Treebreeze's Yucca Mushroom Basket (continued)

    The third night I added the lid and a tie.

    IMG_3505.jpg IMG_3507.jpg

    Although it is small it took a considerable amount of cord, about 35', I actually ran out the last night and made the last 5'. If I was to guess I would say it would hold about 10 ounces. Overall I was quite satisfied with the look, turning out like a mushroom. I was thinking of making one more, a little larger, out of another material and making a video.

    I love the feeling of producing something without bought tools or patterns, no measurements just the feeling of working with nature and your hands... theres nothing quite like it!

    I hope you enjoyed my little bushcraft adventure. Oh and by the way four weeks and going strong!
     
  4. treebreeze

    treebreeze Tracker

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    Thank you AZexplorer, I hope you do try it, it's a very satisfying feeling.
     
  5. SwissArmyKnife

    SwissArmyKnife Scout

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    How hard do you think it would be to make a trout basket out of yucca, or would it even work well?

    I'm proud of yall for sticking to your commitment!
     
  6. treebreeze

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    It would take a long time to make that much cord. I can make about 8' an hour (including breaking the leaves down). A basket that size might take 100'-120' of cordage. The actual finger weave doesn't take that long tho, probably just a few hours. I'm sure it would work well, you would want to put a coat of beeswax on the chord for water proofing.
     

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