About the Course
An opportunity to work with freshly harvested willow from the Somerset Levels. Available in the spring in a range of varieties in vibrant colours, this evocative material is an ideal introduction to willow weaving for beginners and intermediate students. Each week students will develop basic basketry skills through working on projects designed to give experience of selecting appropriate materials, preparing them for weaving, using different weaves to create form, pattern and texture. Additional seasonal, organic materials will be explored to add contrast and decorative interest. The creative approach should appeal to those wishing to create sculptural forms as well as functional containers. Beginners welcome, no experience necessary.
By the end of the course you will be able to
Select, prepare and calculate quantities of materials
Start, shape and finish a variety of forms
Work independently on a simple woven form
Appreciate creative basketry more fully
Class format and activities
Based on a series of simple basketry projects; each week the tutor will introduce a different willow weaving technique - including randing, pairing and waling. Projects will focus on developing skills in creating form, weave, pattern and texture. Students will learn how to select and calculate appropriate materials and handle willow working tools safely and effectively. Tuition will consist of written handouts, verbal explanations, demonstrations, group and one-to-one practical support. The tutor will provide samples, images and books to inform and inspire. There will be opportunities for students to work on individual creative projects developed from tutor led class work. Students will be encouraged to work together in pairs or groups on certain tasks and to share ideas and previous creative experiences. Students will also be encouraged to experiment with form, pattern, texture and mixed media and to appreciate the potential of basketry for creative expression. Please note that although you will learn traditional basketry techniques, traditional willow basket forms are not taught on this course.
In order to ensure that you make the best possible progress on your course, you will have regular feedback from your tutor, in a constructive and supportive environment.
No previous basketry experience required. Beginners welcome.
What you need to know before you enrol
Willow weaving requires a reasonable level of manual dexterity and overall stamina. Some weaves are best done standing up so please wear sensible and comfortable footwear.
Green willow can be damp and is sometimes dirty - please be prepared.
What you will need for your class
A note book and pen and/or phone/camera to take notes and record progress. Sensible footwear (no open toe sandals) and clothing. Please wear work clothes or bring an apron to protect your clothing.
What you can do next
There are further basketry courses in the autumn term covering different materials and techniques.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.