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Basket Making Introductory Course - one day


About the Course

Learn to make a willow basket in the beautiful Stanwick Lakes nature reserve!

Our one day Basket Making course is the perfect introduction to one of the oldest crafts known, basket remains dating back to 8,000BC have been found in Egypt!

During our ‘Introductory Day’ you will learn the traditional skills necessary to make a small round willow basket for holding fruit, bread, vegetables etc. Working with buff willow that has been pre-soaked and mellowed, you will discover how to cut the slathes and form a base before staking and weaving the sides of your basket.

The basket making day will be run by Maggie Smith, professional basket maker and artist. The group size is limited to just 6 people – so that each person is provided with all the support and help they need during the day.

Until the early part of the 20th century Northamptonshire had many family businesses who made their living from basket making. Our course at Stanwick Lakes is only two miles from Raunds, where 5 generations of the Shaw family made baskets and hampers and had their own osier beds in Raunds Meadows.

Trading Places is based within the beautiful surroundings of the Stanwick Lakes nature reserve, in the heart of Northamptonshire’s Nene Valley. All of our courses take place in and around our purpose built green oak Training Barn. Course places can be booked for one or more people depending on availability. However, if you are looking for a larger group booking (such as a work team building event, a group of friends or an alternative hen or stag 'do') we are very happy to discuss your requirements with you.

Please visit the Trading Places website to check availability and to book a place.

If your selected course is already fully booked please do contact us as we sometimes organise additional courses during the year to meet demand.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Tools, materials and safety equipment are provided for all courses. Participants are simply asked to bring their own supply of enthusiasm and a packed lunch! (we provide tea and coffee during the courses)

For anyone who is travelling some distance and would like to look at local accommodation, please see our website for a list (under the Directions tab). Please note that these businesses are local to the site but are not linked to Trading Places in anyway.


Mark Wood at Trading Places: Traditional Craft Courses
Rockingham Forest Trust
Stanwick Lakes
Stanwick, Wellingborough
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Suitable for

  • Suitable for beginners

Available as a gift

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One day

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I received this course as a birthday present and wasn’t disappointed. Maggie is a superb teacher and has the patience of a saint. The day went too quickly, yet I came away with a pretty decent basket for a first attempt.
Loved every minute of it and it has inspired me to try making some more at home. Can highly recommend this course.

In-person course
- - #21738

I had a lovely time and made a beautiful basket that I am still using. Probably need to go on another course to make another basket.

In-person course
- - #5351

Maggie is an inspired teacher able to convey her own enthusiasm for the subject. The course numbers worked beautifully and, even though the day wasn't wonderful weatherwise, I think we all enjoyed it. The small round basket I made has been extremely useful to me for holding bobbins and/or rolags when I spin. It's been very much admired by my fellow craftspeople.

I really enjoyed my day and have now booked for the two day course. I do hope there will be more such courses - excellent in every way.

In-person course
- - #5339

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