Freitag, 6. November 2015

Gokstad-Style Basket Backpack

Hey there, my dear readers! It's not that I'm lazy and nothing is happening here, quite the contrary, lots of work and no time for modern media ;)
But at last here's something new for you. I was not very content with the wicker backpack I own. It's heavy, has a sqare form that gets smaller towards the bottom and tends to bend me backwards when loaded heavily with all the things a lady needs to carry around ;)
There's a find from viking times from the Gokstad boat grave. Not a complete backpack, in fact, just two wooden boards, one of them with holes around the edge: 


The find itself leaves room for speculation and interpretation. I did not want to recreate it, rather than have a useful, light, good looking container to carry my things.
So I decided to use very light materials, not authentic. For the board I used a wood called Paulownia, which is sometimes used for surfboards, due to its properties. For the basket part I used thin beech wood rods as stakes and rattan.

As the basket grew, I found it more and more useful to use a cardboard template to achieve the right form.

I ended the weaving with an other (flat) type of rattan and secured the edge with a decorative wrapping.

As the basket part was finished I had to think about how to carry that thing ;)  Of course I wanted to make the straps myself and didn't want something boring. So I made a long tablet woven band with a Birka pattern.

I attached the straps with wooden rods inside the basket and put some metal strap buckles on, so I can adjust the straps when I wear my thick woollen coat.

I have used this backpack now on several occasions and I must say that I'm really happy with it. I can carry it all day without complaining about the weight or uncomfortable fit, and a lot of things fit inside. If Mary Poppins were viking, this would be the thing to have ;)
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