Willow Weaving & Basketry – Outdoor Work Adult Courses

Bedales are delighted to announce the launch of the Traditional Heritage Craft Week which will run from July 8-12, 2024. During this week we’ll be offering three courses for adults:

  • Blacksmithing and Garden Sculpture
  • Willow Weaving and Basketry
  • Oak Timber Framing

Over the five days you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a heritage craft and learn from expert tutors. Each course will run in and around the beautiful timber framed barnyard of the Bedales Outdoor Work department. Catering and all materials are included in the price. Further details of the Basket Weaving course are outlined below:

Basket weaving course 
Immerse yourself in a week of willow, creating beautiful, traditional frame baskets.

Aim of the course: Students will take away at least two frame baskets; one large oval harvest basket with twisted handle, and one shallow round fruit bowl with side handles.
What will you learn: Students will learn about the difference between frame baskets and stake and strand baskets, shape, splice and lash willow hoops, create willow ribs, weave a rand pattern, use a variety of hand tools safely, and understand the sustainable credentials and environmental benefits of UK grown willow.
Who is the course suitable for: This course is suitable for both beginners and those with previous basketry experience. You will need manual dexterity and stamina. If you suffer from arthritis or joint issues, such as carpel tunnel, please discuss this with Louise before booking.
Why choose this course: Louise combines contemporary design and heritage skills with her passion for the environment. Her baskets are hand woven from sustainably grown British willow and often incorporate hedgerow plants, foraged fibres and coppiced wood. With a wealth of teaching experience, she aims to successfully guide each participant in their discovery of basketry.

This is subject to change, depending on progress, but expect the week to look like this:
Monday – Friday, 9.30 – 4:30pm. Lunch is included. Early finish Friday. NB: we will be in contact in May to gather any dietary requirements.

Day 1  – Brief introduction to the sustainable credentials of willow and the difference between stake and strand and frame baskets. Practical session – three way lashing, ribs and shaping. By lunchtime we will have formed our first frame. Afternoon practical session on rand weaving along with Q&A session on display baskets, tools and books and making a list of questions to be answered or topics to be discussed later in the week.
Day 2 –  Morning demonstration of knife work, shave horse, draw knife and splicing. Practical session – creating twisted hoops, single hoops, splitting willow and diamond lashings. Afternoon practical session – continue with rand weaving of the first basket, adding more ribs and completing with trimming. Completion of unfinished baskets or for those completed…Q&A session part two from topics chosen on day one
Day 3 –  Morning discussion on growing, harvesting, storing and preparing willow. Practical session – grading, sorting and bundling dry willow. Afternoon practical – grading, sorting and selecting soaked willow for second project. Design of future basket – choice of rim and handle, lashing, ribs, shape size and weavers – drawing or sketching – annotating the sketch.
Day 4  – Morning demonstration – lashings for a bowl on single hoop. Cyntells Practical session – fixing ribs on a single hoop to create a bowl and start randing.  Afternoon practical – randing to a pattern starting with butts, adding ribs and continued randing, handle creation.
Day 5  – Morning demonstration – gondola and hen baskets – multiple hoops. Practical session – finishing the randing of our bowls. Last afternoon session – Trimming, photographing and admiring our works. Noting down any relevant resources, tools, books, online resources and organisations.

Your tutor
Louise Arthur is a basketmaker and teacher based here in Hampshire, trading under the name Rough Around the Hedges. She is a member of the Basketmakers’ Association and the Heritage Crafts Association and has a post graduate adult teaching certificate.
If you have any questions please email Louise at louisearthur@mac.com. Further information can be found here Home | Rough Around the Hedges

Summary... Bedales are delighted to announce the launch of the Traditional Heritage Craft Week which will run from July 8-12, 2024. During this week we’ll be offering three courses for adults: […]

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