I am really drawn to wire and things made from wire. When I go to a hardware or farm store, I especially like browsing the rolls of hardware cloth, hog wire, chicken wire and metal cables. I have a thing for wire baskets and the various cages for plants such as tomatoes and peonies.

I've been collecting vintage wire baskets for a few years, but their meteoric rise in popularity is forcing the price up (of course).

Three of my favorites~

Wire baskets have that utilitarian, straightforwardness that I find so appealing. 

My dad had a small but well outfitted workbench in the garage of my childhood home. He didn't have power tools, but he had an assortment of hand saws, a planer, screw drivers, wrenches, chisels, nails, along with a fine array of nuts and bolts. Oh and a vice. Yes my dad had one vice. It was made of heavy metal and clamped to the edge of the worktop. Digressing a moment, my dad was not a builder at the level Larry is. Larry's dad was a farm boy who ultimately earned a Master's Degree in Industrial Arts and taught high school shop for years. He also educated and encouraged his sons to be gifted woodworkers.

My dad was a professional athlete. His handyman skills were self-taught, and probably refined by the demands of home improvement and routine maintenance. Although my folks did a goodly amount of interior painting and some wallpapering, Dad's thing was bricks and mortar. He built planters and patios around our suburban Los Angeles home. He had both the eye for design and the strength for hard work.

Although my parents were passionate about gardening, they were by no means artsy-craftsy sorts.

One weekend, now decades ago, Dad and I worked together on a tiny creative project. Oh my goodness! I was alone in the garage with my dad and a craft. It was so, so special. Amongst his limited "let's build something together" stash, we found a bit of hardware cloth and a small spool of narrow gauge wire; yes, the stuff my dreams are made of. At Dad's suggestion, we built a little cage; a small wire box I could use to catch and observe bugs. For some reason, I had a very short lived fascination with bugs. Funny, isn't it? How could that have been me?

The cage had a chimney, a tube really, with a cover akin to a little hatch. I would capture a beetle and drop him into the tube. This cage was cute; a bit skewed to one side, but seriously cute. As a finishing touch, my dad created a tiny hand lettered sign that read, Bug House.

I shared with Dad my sweet memory, this snapshot of daddy-daughter bonding, a few years before he passed away. No, he didn't remember the Bug House, but I could tell he remembered his little daughter on a tall stool, watching and working at his side. And I could feel the love. I could always feel the love.

It all began with the Bug House. My intense affinity for hardware cloth was conceived at my dad's workbench. Maybe that's why I married Larry. Larry has everything; including all the wire I might care to run my hands through.

We recently began experimenting with hardware cloth baskets. This is our first. I won't say it's beautiful but it was fun to make. I would describe it as streamlined storage that tucks perfectly behind the door in my sideboard. Oh the possibilities! I plan to make more.

I'm providing a link to the tutorial I used, in case you have an interest in making one. Check out
Four Corners Design. It is by far my favorite step-by-step, and the photos on this blog are incredible. If you decide to make one please share pictures. You can post a photo to comments or email me. I would love to hear from you!

Very fondly~


1 comment

  1. This is a great basket! You and Larry did a fantastic job making this one. I adore wire and metal baskets- each one is so unique and perfect with its imperfections. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.