Tidy up time…

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I love fire!  This is a slow mo video of my willow odds and ends burning!  I’m not a pyromaniac at all 😊 Eerie sounds too.

Practice makes perfect…

Freshly made border practice boards for round and square work.

I’m sure these are going to be really useful. Not only for myself, I need to practice plaited borders for square work 😳.  But also for students wanting to get the hang of a border before finishing off a basket. It’s really disappointing at the end of the day if the border doesn’t go right.


Chicken day!  Sue, Sally and Celia all worked really hard and made beautiful birds to grace their gardens.

Random weaving can feel a little thankless to begin with!  We started with a simple frame work made of willow hoops and free wove over the top of this. Tips of willow rods  were secured into the frame and woven in all directions. It was only after a couple of hours work their chickens really started emerging and firming up. After the addition of legs and head/neck their pieces really took shape. The afternoon saw everyone concentrating on oweaving over any gaps, firming up chicken thighs and faces!

I can’t thank them enough for the amazing picnic they brought with them. It was a veritable feast that they produced from hampers and bags. I was really touched to be included.

Gathering basket workshop…

Fabulous day with Jane, Shelia, Lucy and Vince making gathering baskets.  It’s never been so hot in the workshop and by the end of the day we were all glowing!

The main bulk of the weaving is a very straight forward rand with one weaver.  However a border is always a bit mind boggling the first time you do it, especially at the end of a very warm day let alone finishing the handle.  Everyone did brilliantly and made beautiful baskets as you can see from the photo.

The finished frail…

The photos show both sides of the frail. I managed to sew all the pieces together yesterday. There are a lot of steps involved with this basket but by taking one at a time it is a very satisfying thing to make.

Preparing materials and plaiting all the pieces took nearly eleven hours. Then trimming and sewing another three and a half hours. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed making it and want to do another.

The basket was made to test the frail recipe for a new book about rush to be published by the Basketmakers’ Association. Not sure when it will be published. Will let you know.

Screw blocks…

I made these very simple screw blocks today.  They consist of two pieces of wood with holes drilled through either end for a threaded rod. This has wing nuts on each side for tightening the two pieces of wood together.

Screwblocks are used for holding base sticks in a vertical position whilst weaving square bases.

They will be used on Saturday for the gathering basket class. I’m really looking forward it.

A Frail…

The start of a basket called a frail. I’m very excited about making this, I’ve always wanted to make one. It’s made by plaiting rush. Different plaits are made for the side, base, lid and handle. This plait will become the sides. Watch this space!

This plait would also make a beautiful table runner.