This and That

Random bits of my life

Basket-Weaving Class at the Belly-Dancing Center

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 23, 2009

Nuni's baskets

Earlier this week, my Russian office-mate Masha asked me if I would come with her to a basket-weaving course at Arabesque, the center where she studied belly-dancing for several years. It is located on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make baskets, so I jumped at the chance. Our first meeting was last night.

Eight of us showed up. The teacher, Nuni Yavnai, is an Israeli woman who learned how to make baskets in Asheville, NC, at Earth Guild. By the way, if you want to get in touch with her to set up a basket-weaving workshop or whatever, she has given me permission to post her contact details here. Her email is and her cellphone number is 050-9112434. I also found a site (in Hebrew) about a workshop she offered in Pardes Hannah.

Basket-weaving class at the belly-dancing studio

Nuni shows Shira how to weave in the “chasing” technique with two reeds around an even number of spokes.


We soaked 1/2″ flat reeds, pinned them to the table, and began the base with narrow round reeds. This is the half-completed base of my basket.

My basket base

One thing that struck me was how everyone’s baskets seemed to match their clothing! I think this woman’s name is Tamar but I’m not sure. I just liked this photo.

Basket-weaving class at the belly-dancing studio

My basket on the left, Masha’s on the right, just before we learned how to put on the finishing edge.

Baskets in progress

Baskets make interestng hats. Masha took this shot of me wearing the base.

Wearing my basket base

Masha modeling her basket in the car.

Masha and her basket

Here is my finished basket. I’m so proud of it!

My first basket

My first basket


6 Responses to “Basket-Weaving Class at the Belly-Dancing Center”

  1. Ann said

    Your basket is beautiful! I would love to learn how to make one and must look for a course to take. I’m so impressed that beginners can make a complete basket in an evening.

    • apinnick said

      I was surprised, too! I thought we’d come home with a tiny, misshapen candy dish or whatnot. Everyone made beautiful baskets. The teacher dyes the reeds herself, so there were lots of beautiful colours to choose from. She deliberately didn’t bring in a basket made from the instructions she gave us because she said that when she did, all her students ended up making identical baskets. This was much more fun, creating our own shapes.

  2. Ann said

    What a wise teacher she is! Each basket looks great and I love how they’re not identical. Such pretty colors too.

  3. Devra said

    Hey Avital! This is a great post, I love the photos and the descriptions. It’s almost as good as hearing about it in the van, plus getting to see the photos adds so much. It looks like it was a fun evening. Masha’s photo of you is EXCELLENT. You look great.

    See you Thursday, or not. 😉

  4. pam said

    How great you shared the image of you in your basket hat! I love it!

    And your first basket is lovely – like the shape very much.

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