Calendar Of Events

Willow Workshop at Blacksmiths Cottage - 2 day Colourful Split Willow Baskets - 13 & 14/4/2019

SalixArts Willow Workshop

Colourful Split Willow Basket Workshop
Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April 2019, 10am - 5pm, £170

A two day basket course making colourful baskets using split fresh season willow for the side weaves.

Fresh season willow seems to offer such vibrant colour potential, but if we use it for basketmaking straight away, the willow shrinks, making the weaving bas19update30'baggy' - the basket will not be strong! There is a perfect time to make, when just enough moisture has left the willow so that it wont shrink significantly but is still workable, but the window of opportunity is small and not all the colours dry at the same rate.

Splitting each willow rod into 3 with a special tool offers a solution - when split, the willow dries much quicker and doesn't shrink in the same way as a whole round rod, allowing you to enjoy weaving with the vibrant colours and 6b0a4394still have a strong basket. Splitting in this way also allows us to use rods that would otherwise be too big. The technique also results in the inside of the basket being white, which can provide a very attractive contrast to the other colours.

This workshop is 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 round or oval. This in-depth 2 day workshop allows plenty of time to really absorb techniques effectively without rushing.

The majority of the techniques used are those of traditibas19update58onal stake and strand basketry, to include: pairing, packing, waling, and rod or trac border. Split willow lends itself to side weaves of randing and slewing.

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.

This year I have a particularly good colour selection, having sourced my willow from a lovely new bed in Waterbeach.

Simple, yummy vegetarian lunches and refreshments are included in the price of £170, but 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 £7- £8.

For more information or booking please contact Debbie on 07736952730, or