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Wood Art, Basket Illusion, Wood Craft

About Me: Steve Mawson, Lincoln, NE

Experience & Creativity


In 2014 I took a class to learn how to make Indian Style baskets from wood.  My mentor is Jim Adkins, an expert in this type of woodturning.  I also continue to make other types of woodturnings such as bowls and wooden vases.

My Process

All my work starts at the wood lathe.  Additional embellishment takes place on some pieces.

My work starts at the wood lathe.  Additional embellishment takes place from there.

About Me

I have been a woodworker-making wood turnings most of my life.  My first learning about the wood lathe came from my Uncle Bob when I was about 8 years old.  Woodturning has been a continual process from there.  A new lathe in 2005 renewed my interest in the art as I started to take some one day classes from woodturning teachers.  Over the next few years two more lathes were purchased, one of those a Powermatic 3520B is what I mainly use today. 


The Indian style baskets-wood art- are all made from wood, mainly maple and the patterns are adapted from traditional Native American woven baskets.  This continues to be a learning process as I research books written about various tribes from the Southwest and California.  

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More About Making Basket Illusion Pieces

Lathe Turning Process


All baskets start on the wood lathe.  A clear piece of wood that is light colored and tight grained work best.  I use mostly hard maple for the wood.  A tool called a beading tool makes the ridges that resemble the weaving of a basket.  These ridges are 1/8th inch wide.

Start of the pattern process


Pencil lines are laid out where a burning pen will be used in the pattern process.  The tip of the burning pen fits over the already made bead and makes a dark mark when touched by the hot burning pen.  Color will be added to the burned area in the next step.