Leftovers…

Using up leftovers from last weeks classes and my chewed up harvest. I made another shallow basket starting with a 6×6 slath. This produced 24 base sticks for me to stake up singularly, finishing with a 5 rod border after a few rows of waling.

Frame baskets…

Just finished some frame baskets in a mixture of different coloured willow and some seagrass.

Two willow hoops are attached together with a knot, in this case a god’s eye. The weaving is built up over a series of ribs using randing and packing from each side until you meet in the middle.

Shallow baskets…

I have been playing around with different shallow baskets. The top design has a Catalan base, the middle picture is an Irish skib and the bottom picture is a standard stake and strand basket with a plaited border.

I love the variety in style and colour that you can achieve with relatively small changes to technique and willow choices.

Tickety Boo Garden Cafe…

Lots of weaving going on today at the Tickety Boo Garden Cafe. Plant supports and bird feeders. It’s a beautiful place to work in the middle of a garden centre with lovely views of the orchard and chickens scratching around.

Everyone did really well. All the folk weaving the bird feeders in the afternoon also made a plant support in the morning. The confidence they gained in the morning handling the material and getting to grips with the vocabulary really paid off in the afternoon. They made their pieces in super quick time.

Spring wreath…

It’s been a glorious day, the first of a few this week. I harvested my small willow patch a month ago. It was so sad looking that I’ve ignored the small branchy bundle until today. The sun made me feel alive enough to do something with it. So I made a spring wreath for the workshop door.

The muntjac have essentially been using the garden as a salad bar for months. There are so many breaches in the fence around the garden, the whole thing needs replacing. Clearly willow shoots taste yummy. I’m not impressed but their free snack days are numbered.

Bird feeder workshop…

The sun was shining this morning in Sudbury at Simply Handmade. Not that we noticed as we were concentrating very hard weaving bird feeders.

These little baskets are so useful for many indoor and outdoor uses from holding suet balls to fairy lights, lemons to garlic.

Thank you to all the folk that took part. Delightful to meet you. Thanks also to Debbi and Colin for their hospitality at the studio.

The following photos show concentration silence at its best. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Spiderweb…

I started this sample cane seating weave in March with my basketry group, The Basketry Collective.

Anita Vozik led half the group through rush seating and the other half through this spiderweb weave. It has seven layers which build up quite easily. The hardest part is threading the cane through as the holes become smaller and smaller with increasing layers. Layers six and seven require a certain degree of patience!

Many thanks to Anita for her brilliant tuition and all the preparatory work she did for the group. You can see Anita’s upholstery and seating skills on Instagram @anita_vozik

Lโ€™al Yak…

This ‘little oak’ shoulder bag is the product of four days hard work at the Basketmakers’ Association Spring school in York. The course was taught by the fab Lorna Singleton who lives in the Lake District and is one of the few remaining Basketmakers working with oak in this country making swills and other traditional baskets.

I’ve learnt a huge amount about preparing the oak and how it behaves whilst weaving. It is a beautiful material and although it was difficult at times I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The leather work was also new to me and I hope to put those new skills to good use on my baskets in the future.

Thanks to all those that organised the courses from the BA especially Jill Witham and Nadine Anderson. Thanks to Lorna for sharing her skills with such kindness and patience and thanks to the other lovely basket makers I shared the week with.