Jane Wilkinson from Special Branch Baskets has teamed up with Alyth Craft Tourism to provide a unique crafting experience.
On our 3 day basket weaving course you will be able to learn an ancient craft whilst still having the opportunity to enjoy the natural peace and the splendid scenery that the local landscape has to offer. Alyth is nestled at the foothills of the Cairngorm Plateau at the start of the Perthshire & Angus Glens. It is also surrounded by Perthshire Big Tree Country.
Places are available on a non-residential and residential basis, the latter being with award winning partners Kirklandbank Farm and Vanora’s Cottages. The non-residential price is shown.
What's in store?
On day one the course will commence with a walk through the local countryside to gather some of the wild hedgerow materials which can be used to add colour and texture to your piece. You can choose to make a purely functional basket or a more artistic endeavour. During the rest of the day we will start learning to weave the baskets.
On day two we will continue to weave until lunch time. After lunch you can choose to have a free afternoon or continue weaving. There will be the opportunity to visit ancient, historical Pictish sites; to go on a guided kayaking trip; to hire mountain bikes to explore the local countryside; to visit the local woodland skill’s centre or just the chance to relax. All these activities can be booked through our local tour operator partners in Alyth.
On day 3 you will finish your baskets and then there is the chance to have a go at paddling a coracle on Loch Clunie as an exciting finish to the course.
There are limited places (maximum 8) to allow for individual attention.
For those who have caught the basket weaving bug and are really keen we can continue weaving on the afternoon of the second day.
Jane Wilkinson has been making artisan willow baskets; bespoke woven fences and installations and coracles for 25 years. She has a wealth of teaching experience spanning 20 years. She has exhibited work throughout Scotland and internationally and has judged the basketry exhibits at the Royal Highland Show on a number of occasions.
“Passing on the time-honoured techniques of basketry to the next generation is very important to me. Having a good grounding in these techniques then allows you to be creative with the materials of your choice. I am constantly inspired by what people can achieve on my courses. I enjoy watching students reconnect to nature through the process of foraging and harvesting the materials they need to create their basket.”
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?
£260.00 is the non-residential cost. The residential cost for one person doing the course is £350.
Costs include welcome supper, midmorning, lunch & tea time catering on course days & all materials.
As much tea and coffee as you can drink on a self service basis.
Tools will be provided but you can bring your own with you as well.
Very welcoming organisers, nice venue, tasty food and expert tuition. I felt the course leader Jane really took the time to get to know the group individually, and her instruction was friendly and pitched at just the right level. Clare was a great host, and happy to help with any query. I am really chuffed with my basket, and have been inspired to carry on learning and exploring this craft. I would definitely book on another course with them.
Thank you for your kind response Janet. We are so glad that you enjoyed our course and the wonderful setting of Alyth as a venue. Jane
This is the third time I have been on this course so that speaks for itself. I've always taken the residential option which is great value and we are looked after by a brilliant team. Jane, as ever, an excellent tutor willing to adapt to our abilities and always encouraging. My friend and I are hoping to return at some time in the future and tackle rush work.
I notice all the reviews have five stars and they are well deserved. This has been an excellent course with a brilliant teacher. As a beginner and lacking confidence, Jane helped me produce a beautiful basket. She was aware of what the students were doing and would be at your side immediately if she thought you were struggling. She always found something to praise and built up confidence. Her course, combined with the accommodation, catering and friendliness supplied by Vanora's Cottages made it an excellent weekend. It was so good that I am returning to the next course held by Alyth Craft Tourism.
Recently completed the residential course and had a fantastic time. From the wonderful welcome on arrival, I knew it was going to be good! The accommodation was cosy and warm, and the food was amazing (the warm pancakes were my downfall). Jane is an absolute master at her craft and she led us through the stages with humour and amazing patience. The group were great fun and we really got into the spirit of it - all producing beautiful baskets by the end. We also got the opportunity to have a go in a coracle on tranquil Loch Clunie, which I would highly recommend...unforgettable! All in all, a super well-organised course run by an enthusiastic expert. I’m already pencilled in for Jane’s coracle making one!
Attending Jane's recent hedgerow basketry course was a fantastic experience. As a complete beginner, I proudly finished a beautiful log basket at the end of the three days with the expert, patient, knowledgeable and entertaining guidance of Jane. We were made to feel very much at home by Clare and Olivia, who provided wonderful home baking and lunches. I can't praise the course highly enough and would wholeheartedly recommend it. I look forward to doing similar courses with Special Branch in the future.
I am happy to leave Jane and this wonderful course a glowing review. We were incredibly well- taught and well-looked after throughout our three days together. Jane is inspiring in her love for her craft and her wonderful skills. She passes on her knowledge in a quietly authoritative way which gives an inexperienced beginner, such as myself, great confidence and pleasure in what we were doing. I was amazed at the fantastic quality, artistry and aesthetic charm of the baskets we were all able to produce by the end of this course. I am afraid I am gushing - but I feel the course more than deserved it!!
I attended a two day course on basket making at Off The Rails in Ladybank. A lovely venue and Jane is a very good course leader. I had a relaxed weekend with my own basket at the end of it. Highly recommended.
Jane enthusiastically led a one day course on making fruit bowls and other works. I was delighted by the finished product and by Jane's knowledge and passion for the subject. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest...no prior skill/knowledge required.
This was a great course and I’m really pleased with my completed basket. I had previously attended a one day workshop with Jane so still very much a beginner. Jane does great demonstrations and explanations of what to do so you get the techniques right and she also provides plenty of one-to-one help.
I would definitely recommend Jane’s workshops.
I attended a 2 day basket making workshop at Off the Rails Arthouse in Ladybank. We were a group of 7, some complete beginners and some with a previous workshop under their belt. Jane taught via a combination of demonstrations and one to one tutoring. Thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and very pleased with my basket. Would recommend!
An excellent course tailored to two levels of ability: beginners and those with previous experience. The tutor ‘s instructions and demonstrations were clear and repeated for each student as required individually. Everyone took home a completed basket, each one individual in materials, details and design.
I absolutely loved learning with Jane. As an absolute beginner I was amazed to have created such wonderful work under Jane's guidance. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone wanting an introduction to working with willow!