One or two day courses making baskets using colourful locally grown organic willow.
Enjoy a day or two of relaxed making in a beautiful tranquil setting in rural Cambridgeshire. The cottage and studio are set in 2 acres of lovely garden and woodland. Post Covid, the courses are limited to only two participants allowing for plenty of individual attention, and plenty of space.
Workshop prices have had to go up a little reflecting the reduced numbers, but are still very affordable and a bargain for something so close to one-to-one teaching.
These very small groups work particularly well if participants already know each other - an ideal opportunity to spend some quality time with a close friend or loved one.
This course is taught by Debbie Hall, an award winning basketmaker who has been making for 25 years and teaching for 19. In addition to running courses from her own studio, she has taught for the Basketmakers Association and is also the regular willow tutor at Cambridge Botanic Gardens. She is now also the willow tutor at London's well respected City Lit College.
The courses are suitable for all - the shape of the basket you make will be determined by your level of experience. Beginners will make round baskets and those with a few baskets under their belts can choose whatever they'd like to make.
In one day beginners can expect to make a couple of platters or a small bread or fruit basket. In two days a beginner could complete a medium - large shopper with handle or a small log basket .The majority of the techniques used are those of traditional stake and strand basketry. Handles can be traditional wrapped willow or wood. I can provide the former, but if you wish to use something a little more unusual, such as driftwood, contorted hazel, chunky vine or ivy then please bring your own material for a handle. Something with a pronounced curve tends to work best.
You can also choose to make something for the garden such as a plant support or small hurdle,
Materials are charged for at the end of the workshop depending on how much you actually use - to give you some idea, the willow cost for a medium round or oval basket would be about £8- £10, £11 - £13 for a small log basket.
To arrange a workshop please contact Debbie via the 'Ask a question' link above.
This is a new flexible approach to running workshops and not all weekend dates that are available are shown on the listing. Please do just get in touch to discuss your needs. Also, as I am hoping to run workshops for 2 people that already know each other, then please contact me first if you wish to book a single place. It is not financially viable for me to me run a workshop for one.
Accommodation is available. Please enquire if you're interested.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
All tuition and refreshments (tea, coffee etc) are included.
Please bring your own lunch.
Materials are charged for at the end of the course, depending on how much has been used.
1 day (flexible times to suit)
This craft course provider has been awarded Silver status for receiving 5 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.
The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.
They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.
We were complete beginners and wondering what we would be able to achieve, but under Debbie's guidance we managed to make lovely baskets of which we are very proud. Debbie is a lovely friendly teacher and we had a very good time. We would definitely recommend her workshop.
Response from SalixArts - Debbie Hall:Thank you Marie and Adam - you were a pleasure to teach and hope you treasure your lovely baskets. Hope you go on to make some more - Maybe see you again!
We had an excellent day. We were both surprised at how good our baskets turned out….all down to the quality of the teaching…Debbie was very good, patient, great fun and made us most welcome…would highly recommend the course…and we may well be back ourselves!!
Response from SalixArts - Debbie Hall:Thanks Jo. It was lovely to meet you both, and would love to have you back again! I had a great fun day too!
Wow! A first rate course in the art of basketry.
Couldn't be more thrilled with what I was able to achieve, with Debbie's expert tuition, in just two days! I'm not a particularly crafty person but Debbie was patient and ensured everyone in the class made good progress to achieve something they could be really happy with. Debbie also gave us inspiration to maintain our skills once leaving the course by showing us her own incredible creations and, as she grows her own willow in a variety of colours, we were able to take some home to continue using our new found skills.
Debbie is a very welcoming host and provided us with a fantastic lunch too!
A thoroughly enjoyable two days which I would heartily recommend to all.
This was an absolutely excellent course. Debbie was a great teacher, and the surroundings were inspiring, beautiful and relaxing. I found the process of learning to make my first basket, really fun, and therapeutic. I came away after 2 days, very impressed with the basket I had managed to make.
Response from SalixArts - Debbie Hall:Thank you Radha,
I love baskets and always wanted to make one so was very pleased to secure the the remaining place on this course during the last weekend in October 2019. As a complete beginner, I went full of hope and although encouraged by Debbie's basketry skill and reputation as a great teacher, I doubted my ability to take it all in. I need not have worried and I was absolutely amazed by what I was able to achieve in just two days with expert tuition. I am now the proud owner of a very beautiful basket that is widely admired whenever I take it shopping. Not only that, the whole weekend was a complete joy. Debbie and the other students on the course were wonderful people and great company; the food and hospitality provided by Debbie during the course were fantastic. The setting at Blacksmith's cottage is indeed beautiful and tranquil. Definitely worth every penny and I cannot wait to go again with a group of friends as I now know this is also possible to arrange. So glad I went. Such a treat...
Response from SalixArts - Debbie Hall:Effie - you were a pleasure to teach and should be extremely proud of the lovely basket you made. I am so glad you enjoyed the course, and hope to see you here again soon.