Where are you located?
We do not have a physical location, since we do our work out of our private homes. Our family lives in the Genoa-Kingston area. If you’d like to visit us, come see us at one of our local shows!
Why are you called Drake Baskets?
Drake is our last name (or maiden names), and so making “Drake Baskets” our brand was an easy decision!
Do you teach basket weaving or chair caning classes?
Yes, we do! We typically teach one basket weaving class a year. Watch on our Facebook page for class announcements! We have not taught a chair caning class recently, but we may in the future if there is enough interest.
About Our Baskets
How do you make your baskets?
We make all our baskets by hand with reed and other materials. Some baskets have a wooden bottom, or wooden handles, and others have woven bottoms, and may not have any handles. Many of our baskets have a simple 1-over-1-under weaving pattern. A few baskets have a special 2-over-2-under weaving pattern called a herringbone weave. Most baskets are finished with a sturdy rim to hold it all together. Want to learn more? Check out one of our annual basket classes!
Where do your materials come from?
We primarily order our materials from two basket supply companies, Suzanne Moore’s NC Basket Works, and Royalwood Ltd. The reed comes from the core of rattan, a vine-like palm that grows on the Malaysian Peninsula and Indonesia. Any wooden parts of the baskets (such as wooden bottoms and/or handles) are purchased from these companies and finished by us by hand. Some of the pottery attachments and decorations come from our friend at What A Crock.
Where do your dyes come from?
We now order pre-dyed reed from our suppliers, because their dyes are more permanent and longer-lasting than our previously used home-based dyes. However, we still occasionally use dyes made from the walnut trees on our properties. The formula for the walnut dyes was developed by Ed Drake’s son-in-law, George.
Where can I buy your baskets?
You can purchase our baskets at one of our two annual shows. We participate in the Sycamore Steam Power Show, which is a four-day event that begins the second Thursday in August, and the Genoa-Kingston Christmas Craft Walk, which is a three-day event which begins the Thursday after Thanksgiving. Click here for more information about our shows!
How much do your baskets cost?
Our philosophy is that baskets should be used and loved. We price our baskets affordably, so that anyone can buy them and use them in their home. Our baskets are typically priced $10-$65, depending on size and the cost of the handles, wooden bases, and other materials.
Do you take orders?
Sorry, we cannot take any orders at this time.
About Caning Chairs
I have an old caned chair with a broken seat. Can you cane it for me?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept orders for chair caning at this time due to time constraints. In DeKalb County, we recommend calling Gavin Woodworking.
What is chair caning?
Chair caning was a method of weaving a seat on chairs and sometimes benches or stools. It is occasionally used as an accent on other kinds of furniture, such as tables, cabinets, or speakers. These chairs usually are comprised of a wooden edge that is open in the middle, and caning filling up the middle of the seat. Hand-caned chairs have holes in the wood around the outside of the seat. These kinds of chairs were most popular in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Caned chairs with a groove all the way around the seat use machine-woven cane. This is called pre-cane, pressed cane, or webbed cane, and can be purchased by the foot from basket and caning suppliers. Machine-woven cane was developed in the 1870’s, and was popular into the 1960’s.
How much does it cost to cane a chair?
Every caner will charge a slightly different price, and the price always depends on the size and shape of your chair, and on the kind of caning used. Typically, a chair with a groove around the edge uses pre-cane, and is cheaper and faster to recane. A chair with holes around the edge of the seat will need to be recaned by hand, and is thus more expensive. This process can take 20 hours of work, and is typically priced by the number of holes around the outside of the seat, or by the size of the caning area. A chair with holes should not be converted to a chair with a groove (and vice-versa) because this will reduce the quality, sturdiness, and value of your caned chair.
How should I take care of my caned chair?
If properly cared for, the caning in your caned chair could last up to 25 years. Cane will naturally darken with age. Older caning may have a few broken strands, or some weak spots. Caning cannot be repairs in pieces; once it starts breaking, all the caning should be replaced.
On a newly caned chair, we recommend using it often. A caned chair that is not used typically gets very brittle and will break easily. If you use it often, your natural body heat will help keep the caning pliable.
If the seat begins to sag in the middle, but does not yet have any broken strands, turn the chair upside down, and place a warm, dampened washcloth on the caning. The extra moisture will help the caning tighten up again. Severely sagging seats are more likely to break at the edges. This trick will not work if there are already broken strands of cane. In addition, you should never apply any oils, sealants, or varnish to the cane. This will not allow it to breathe, and it will become brittle and break more easily.
Lastly, you should never use the caned chair as a stepping stool. While the cane is strong and sturdy enough to hold your weight while sitting on it (and dispersing your weight evenly across it), standing or kneeling on the cane will cause it to break.
Do you do repairs on old baskets or rattan items?
No, sorry, we are unable to do these kinds of repairs.
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