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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/protecting small basket


Dear Cathryn,

We have a little basket that was woven by our 15 year old son in 1986  when he was in the  hospital recovering from a bone marrow transplant. My husband uses it  nightly to hold his pretzels snack.

Could you advise me regarding a preservative spray to protect it and keep it from falling apart.
It is holding up surprisingly  well, but it is very precious to us.

Our dear son lived 27 more years having married and helping raise three beautiful children. Sadly, last summer he was suddenly stricken with an aggressive form of cancer of the nerve sheaths in the spine, and despite radical surgery followed by massive amounts of radiation, he lost his fight September 1, 2013...

His faith was very strong and he trusted that God was in control through it all...

Now we believe he is in heaven, and we have only memories and mementos- like the little basket..

I hope you can advise me.

Thank you for you time.

Heidi Schnaidt

Hello Heidi,

I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved son and can certainly understand why you'd want to preserve this precious basket memento, helping to keep his spirit alive in your hearts.

I would like to see a picture of the basket if at all possible to find out what material was used when he wove it and also how big it is and what weaving technique was used. Can you post a picture here or send me one privately if you'd rather, to

On my website I have a page telling how to preserve and care for baskets though, if you'd like to read about it you can go to the Articles navigation tab and click on How-to Care for Wicker Baskets.

Or you can click on this link and go directly to the Basket Care article.

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The Wicker WomanŽ-Cathryn Peters


I will answer any questions having to do with antique wicker furniture, wicker furniture repair and restoration, chair caning and all other types of chair seat weaving techniques and patterns. I DO NOT GIVE APPRAISALS or free WHAT IT'S WORTH valuations, nor do I buy/sell wicker furniture at this time.


Since 1975 I've been repairing and restoring all types of wicker furniture from the 1880s-1940s, with a special interest in the Victorian era. I'm proficient in the repair and restoration of all types of chair seat weaving; hand-twisted cattail and bulrush, paper fiber rush, chair caning of all types, Shaker tape, Danish cord and seagrass. I also teach chair seat weaving at folk schools, basketry conventions and private individuals or groups. I also offer consultations, and will demonstrate and lecture on the craft topics of chair seating, wicker repair and basketry. I am also web master of, online since 1999 and founder and moderator of the Seatweaving & Chair Caning Forum since 2004.

Founding member and first President of The SeatWeavers' Guild, Inc. (TSWG 2007-2011), Seatweaving & Chair Caning Forum founder and moderator (2004-present), charter member of the National Basketry Organization, numerous regional and state basket guilds, and member of the Basketmakers' and Chair Seaters' Association (BA) located in the United Kingdom.

Woman's Day Budget Decorating Ideas 2006, Country Living August 2004, Finishing & Restoration Magazine, October 2002, Barbara Brabec's Handmade For Profit, Homemade Money-Starting Smart! and Homemade Money-Bringing in the Bucks!, Collector's Journal, Basketry Round-Up #2 by Shereen LaPlantz, Splint Woven Basketry by Robin Taylor Daugherty, 101 Best Home-Based Businesses for Women by Priscilla Y. Huff, Ralph & Terry Kovel's Yellow Pages of Restoration Experts, Small Town Minnesota from A-Z by Tony Andersen and monthly Wicker Furniture columnist for Minnesota's The Old Times newspaper in 1993 & 1994.

High school graduate, self-taught, and "school of hard knocks" for all the rest!

Awards and Honors
I've been involved in several unique wicker restoration projects such as weaving two wicker chairs for the Johnson Wax Replica Sikorsky S-38 Amphibian Airplane in 1998, then two more in 2000 for Buzz Kaplan, owner of Born Again Restorations, the company that created the replica Sikorsky, and did the restoration of all the wicker furniture in the Itasca State Park, Bemidji, MN during their Centennial celebration in 1995. I've also served as Chair Seatweaving Mentor to an apprentice through the Minnesota State Arts Board Folk Art Grant program in 2000, been the recipient of a McKnight/Arrowhead Regional Arts Council (ARAC) Career Opportunity Grant in 2004, and the recipient of a McKnight/ARAC Emerging Artist Fellowship in 2005.

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