Burkina Faso plait…

Just over a week ago I spent a day with my Basketry mates, the Basketry Collective, learning the Burkina Plait from Nadine Anderson.

We started with paper string to practice the twists involved that hold it all together and then very quickly moved on to rush. The rush was such a beautiful green harvested this year by Nadine, it was a real treat to be using such lovely material.

Although I’ve done a lot of plaiting I was completely new to this and thoroughly enjoyed getting to grips with the technique. That is one of the lovely things about Basketry, there is always something new to learn.

I finished the bag off with a few rush flowers and a leather strap. There is definitely room for improvement and I hope to keep practising over the coming weeks.

Hogs and Hops 2018

A basket woven with hops to celebrate harvest. Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, the other being Spring!

These hops grow wild in my garden along the hedge but next weekend you have the opportunity to come and help with the hop picking at Star Wing Brewery.

This is the second year the brewery is running this event. I’m really looking forward to it. Last year there was a real sense of people coming together, it was great fun.

It starts at 2pm, The Ludlum Pikes are playing from 4.30pm followed by a hog roast at 6pm. Then Mick the Baker and his band are playing from around 8pm. As well as all of that Old Empire Motorcycles will have some bikes out for folk to look at.

Hope to see you there!

Weekend with Anne Mette …

Just spent a fabulous weekend with members of my group, the Basketry Collective. We wove like mad for three days under the tutelage of Anne Mette Hjornholm.

Anne Mette is a Danish basket maker you can see more of her work at her website


We spent the first two days working on Catalan bases and an Irish twist weave. A lovely combination! On the third day a few of us made frame baskets and others made more Catalan baskets. It was good to have a concentrated time with friends doing the thing we love!

Hens working hard…

Another fab morning at The Butterfly Art and Crafts studio. This lovely group of ladies were were celebrating Cat’s upcoming nuptials. They made lots of willow and rush hearts to decorate the marquee on the big day in three weeks.

Brian and Julie from the studio put on an amazing spread for them afterwards. What a lovely way to spend and morning.

So very very hot…

A really chilled morning this morning with this lovely group of teachers in Bury St Edmunds. It’s been so blisteringly hot I was very grateful for a cool class room for this workshop.

We were making fat ball feeders from willow. Taking it step by step and breaking it down into bite sized chunks makes it all so achievable for folk who haven’t used willow before.

Well done to you all, have a wonderful summer!

Feeling honoured!

I had a wonderful evening yesterday. Being asked to become a Yeoman Member is the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers is very exciting. Fabulous Sue Kirk (left) and brilliant Sally Roach (right) were also sworn in.

The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers was formally constituted in 1569 to help support the trade. Today they continue to support Basketmakers, London charities and the historic traditions of the City of London.

Chilled afternoon…

Whilst many people were glued to their tv’s watching England beat Sweden this afternoon this lovely group of ladies were making willow fat ball feeders.

They were very chilled and did a fabulous job. Redgrave and Lopham Fen is the most beautiful setting for any class. If you need to day dream out of the window for 5 minutes it has the best views!

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park fair…

A scorcher of a day this year at the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park fair. But it didn’t deter people. My friends and I were busy throughout the day showing children and adults how to do some simple weaving around pre made willow fish and leaf frames.

The group I belong to, the Basketry Collective, have been going to the fair for about 6 years. The response by the local community is always overwhelming. I am reminded time and again that we all have a basic need to create and many people don’t get the opportunity. The restorative value in losing yourself in an activity can’t be underestimated.