One down, one to go…

My husband bought two fairly dilapidated chairs from an auction. I’ve been re-doing the cane for a while in between other jobs. But they are nearly done. It’s the standard six-way pattern. 

I also covered the seats concealing a lurid green velvet with a nice tartan. Altogether they are looking distinctly more loved. 

It’s all about the packing…

Just finished this little lopsided number this morning. I’ve been working along side a student who always comes to the workshop with great ideas. 

This shape is achieved by ‘packing’ the weaving on one side to force the stakes over and ‘grow’ one side more than the other. 

To do this you can use one weaver, going in front and behind one stake and turning before you get all the way around the basket. By going back on yourself you build up one side more than the other. That’s a bit of a simple description! But hopefully makes some sense. I finished the basket with a 5 rod border. Now just to decide what to put in it…

Ode to Autumn…

John Keats wrote ‘Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness’. It has certainly been feeling very autumnal this week. We have been the happy recipients of lots of vegetables from friends allotments. 

My days have been occupied with 2 chairs that I am re-caning. They take a while, in fact I have these chairs in my workshop for over a year. They are to go to my husbands brewery and I’ve been putting them off in favour of other jobs. Anyway in the evenings I’ve been twining this little pumpkin like basket using nutscene twine. I find it very relaxing to keep my hands busy. It helps clear my head!  

Ready to rock and roll…

The summer holidays are almost over. I love having my children at home and will be sad to see them return to school. However I am looking forward to getting back in the workshop. 

Today I gave my willow soaking tank a jolly good scrub. It was long overdue and smelt like a medieval  harbour but now it is clean and ready to welcome willow again!  I have lots of ideas, jobs that need to be finished and a few commissions to get started.

 I’m feeling pretty excited about it. 😊

Cordage…

I have been playing about this morning making cordage from the left over palm leaf and seaweed. They’ve been on an outside table for 3-4 days so I was surprised that the palm leaf was still flexible enough to twist as it needs to. 

The seaweed is also still as rubbery as it was the day I picked it up. Really very elastic and from that perspective not entirely ideal for making cordage as it’s difficult to get the right tension. 

I’ve always found making cordage very relaxing.  You can lose yourself in the rhythm. The colours of these materials are really beautiful as well. 

Mon objet de la mer…

This small coiled piece was made using seaweed and string that I made from a palm leaf. It’s quite messy and organic looking!  I’ve never used seaweed before, it was a little unruly.

After collecting it I worked with it whilst it was drying. It remained fairly flexible and rubbery. Last night I left it out in the rain and it rehydrated remarkably quickly. Interesting stuff!  

Wave bowl…

On holiday in the lovely sunny Vendee.  It’s great to be spending time with my family but I have found some time to revisit twining and coiling.  This little bowl was made with some nutscene twine I brought with me. I had forgotten how much I enjoy twining. It’s very portable and doesn’t take up much room in your luggage!  

Everything is tickety boo…


Thanks to the Tickety Boo Garden Cafe today. Rachel, Jeannette and Judith made their first ever baskets. It’s a lovely location, very tranquil. And the lunch was delicious. There’s no photo of the lunch, I was too busy scoffing it!  

The cafe plans to run more craft course. Keep your eye on their Facebook page for details. 

The importance of Rapping…

I have just finished binding the handles on some home made rapping irons. 

A friend down the lane had some metal off cuts which are the right shape and weight. Hopefully the handle binding will make them comfortable to hold. 

These are used during basket making to make sure your weaving is nice and tight.  Allowing the weight of the metal to compress the rows of weaving when you give it a generous wallop, will mean the basket is tighter overall and therefore more sturdy.