How are basket illusions created
Basket illusions start with boards. They are usually square and it is necessary to draw a circle on the board with a compass. The piece of wood is then cut to a rough circle on a band saw. The roughly round piece of wood is mounted on the lathe and cut to form a perfectly round and flat surface resembling a platter or plate. Pieces of flat round wood can be glued together in a stack and then shaped into taller round vessels. The beads or rings are formed on the surface of either round or flat pieces with a special tool as the lathe turns. After the rings are formed each piece must have lines or spokes drawn on the surface with a pencil. This is accomplished using an indexing system. When the rings and pencil lines have been added to the piece, it is now time to use a wood burning tool with special tips to burn all the pencil lines. This creates little squares or segments on the surface of the piece.
When all the burning is complete the plate or vessel is ready to have color added. A pattern is usually created on paper before actually applying color to each piece. Paint is not used on the segments. It is actually india ink applied with tiny ink pens. It is very common to have 3,000 to 7,000 individual segments on any given piece. The number of rings and the number of spokes or vertical lines determine the actual number of segments. In some cases the inside of a vessel can be painted as well and this can double the amount of segments. The finished item can then have a coating applied to the surface to help protect the color. A design number and signature is added to the bottom of each piece and it is now ready to find a new home.