Frame baskets…

Such a gorgeous day again today at the Butterfly Art Studio. The weather was beautiful and the weavers keen. All the structural set up for a frame basket happens at the start of the day. I think it can seem a bit overwhelming for a beginner.

These guys were fab, their perseverance really paid off as they all achieved lovely shaped baskets. They were able to spend the afternoon peacefully weaving with a mixture of willow and rush.

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!