Turn your woodturning into a work of art with these decorative techniques, to create an illusion basket weave bowl or vase.

A basket weave effect is a way of creating the illusion of a woven basket on your wood turned pieces. 

These are then decorated to look like an authentic woven basket, often featuring elaborate and colourful patterns and designs, similar to indigenous tribal, woven baskets from North America, Africa or Australia. They can also feature unique, contemporary designs.

The process of creating this illusion basket weave effect is fairly simple and involves using beading tools to create dividing lines, which are coloured to create unique patterns.   

Watch this video tutorial and follow Colwin Way as he turns and decorates a basket weave effect vase, using Easy Wood Tools burning wires. Or follow our step by step guide below.

Prep your blank

Cut and centre your blank (our dimensions are 75mm x 150mm) then bradwal mark each end, and mount between centres.

Rough turn down to a cylinder, measure your chuck and create a hold point for your chuck on the tailstock end.

Take out the centres and mount the chuck. Hold the blank in the chuck.

Bring the tailstock up to support the blank whilst being trued.

Cut and clean the surface with a bowl gouge.

Turn the vase

Rough down and turn the bulk away to create the neck of the vase.

Clean up the shoulder of the vase with a bevel rubbing cut from the bowl gouge.

Next, shape the neck. Rough down the back of the vase to near size with the bowl gouge.

Repeat the bevel rubbing cut to clean this area. Add a shallow parting tool cut to the bottom of the vase (this will be where we part off later).

Remove the tailstock and create the flute in the end grain of your vase with a small bowl gouge, bevel rubbing down to the centre hole.  Use a drill chuck with a 12mm drill bit, drill two thirds the depth of your vase. 

Now sand to a good finish, through the grits. 

Clean up the end grain and start the vase flute. Cover the vase with a sanding sealer. Wipe off excess and re sand.

Cut the beads

Starting in the middle and working out towards the sides, in both directions, using the Easy Wood Tools Negative Rake Beading Cutters to make your beading cuts. Any discrepancies can be cleaned up with a parting tool. 

Clean your cuts with a wire brush to remove debris and denib the edges using Webrax.

Next, use the Easy Wood Tools Easy Wire Burning Kit to burn along the beaded lines to highlight these.

Turn A Basket Weave Illusion Vase

Next you need to mark the vertical lines.

Prepare to use the indexing from your lathe to continue marking the beads. Start by understanding how many indexing positions your lathe has. Colwin’s lathe has 36 - therefore there will be 36 divisions around the vase.

Using a sanding table and pyrography unit, adjust the sanding table until the tip of the pyro pen locates at the centre point. Then, engage the indexing and mark your first vertical line with the pyro pen. Repeat for all positions.

Once you have burnt in all the vertical lines, apply another coat of sanding sealer and lightly denib with Webrax 

Now complete, your vase is ready to part off. 

Create your basket weave illusion

Add some artistic flare to your basket weave design to create the illusion effect, by colouring the beads. Use fine tipped felt tip colour pens and fill in your chosen design. 

Acrylic spray lacquer to finish as wiping will remove the colour. 

Turn A Basket Weave Illusion Vase

Tried it? Share it!

If you’ve had a go at this basket weave illusion vase then share your pictures with us on social media by tagging @axminstertools on Instagram or Facebook. Or email us at woodworkingwisdom@axminstertools.com

Mastered the vase, then why not try turning a basket weave illusion bowl? Watch our Woodworking Wisdom demonstrations with Colwin Way and Ben Beddows as they guide you through the turning of the bowl as well as the decorative basket weave techniques, in this two part demonstration.