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Basketweaving Workshop: Christmas Decorations - Stars - Day Time

On this half-day workshop, you will make one or more designs of stars, all from natural willow.  These can be hung on your door in place of a wreath, at a window, on the mantelpiece, used as a table decoration with candle or given as gifts.

What are the aims of the course?  The aim of this course is for students to experience the joys of weaving with natural willow, learn a range of traditional basketry techniques, and to take home a completed item(s) made by themselves.

Who is the course for and what does it involve?  This workshop is suitable for all, no experience of willow-weaving is required. However, a certain amount of manual strength and dexterity is required when working with willow.  Don't worry though as the projects covered in this workshop have been selected for their relative simplicity and suitability for beginners. 

Throughout the workshop, students may occasionally use specialist basketry tools, most of which are either sharp or pointed, so a sensible and common sense approach to safety is essential.

Please Note: As with all craftwork, basketry skills take some time to acquire and students should not be upset if they do not achieve perfection first time around!

On this workshop simple techniques will be used to weave one or more stars from natural willow. 

This is an ideal introduction to willow-weaving and students may then wish to progress to tackling another basketry project.

What topics will I be covering?  

  • Understanding types of willow used in basket making;
  • Preparation of willow;
  • How to manipulate willow;
  • Use of basket makers’ tools;
  • Basic weaving techniques

Do I need any previous knowledge or entry qualifications?  No previous knowledge of basketry or experience of weaving with willow is required for this workshop. Working with willow requires some manual dexterity as you will be working with your hands, wrists and fingers to weave the willow.

What do I need to prepare for the course?  No preparation is required.

Materials required - Material costs for the willow required for the classroom activities have been included in the course fee. 

It may be possible to purchase additional willow from the tutor to take home with you. Please discuss this with the tutor. Any costs for additional willow will be payable to the tutor on the day. The tutor provides all specialist tools required for the workshop, for use in the classroom.

NB: Please wear practical clothing and bring a work apron – damp willow can be a bit dirty.

For longer or weekend workshops please bring along a packed lunch/refreshments.  A 30 minute break will be allocated. 

Where could the course lead? This course could lead to further willow-weaving workshops.The skills learned in this workshop will give students confidence to try other basketry workshops such as the garden decorations or one-day simple basket workshops.

DayTimesNumber of WeeksStart DateEnd DateRoom
Thursday14:30 - 17:30119 Nov 202019 Nov 2020AC122
Staff Profile: Louise Brown

Louise Brown

Creative Arts - Basketmaking and Willowweaving

My passion for basketmaking was ignited fifteen years ago when I attended a two-term course here at the Peter Symonds College Adult Education Centre.  This introduction whetted my appetite for this ancient craft and I have since sought out further training wherever and whenever I could find it. 

To my surprise, I found this craft was far from widely taught and I have had to travel considerable distances to build up my skills and knowledge.  I am fortunate to have been taught by several of the UK’s leading basketmakers at these workshops, courses and training days, culminating in me gaining distinction in the City & Guilds Certificate in Creative Techniques 3D Basketry.  I am now a member of the Basketmaker’s Association.

I wish to share my enthusiasm for basketry with you - and look forward to introducing you to the pleasures of weaving with willow to create both decorative and functional items from this beautiful and naturally sustainable material. Please visit my website

Student Feedback

  • A lovely fun and satisfying afternoon.  Teaching was lovely – patient, fun, informative, and thorough.  Made two attractive products to take away.
  • A very enjoyable 3 hours in a small group which allowed tutor to provide much needed 1:1 support! Gained confidence and ability in willow weaving.
  • Very enjoyable. Clearly explained, good materials supplied, lots of positive encouragement.  Went home with a great sense of achievement and 2 platters
  • The course was really enjoyable and a relaxed atmosphere. I have learnt some interesting weaving techniques and been creative.
  • Learned skills required for platter making, which involved thinking about colour combinations and final shapes.                
  • Learned more skills and had great fun.  Hard work but rewarding combining weaving skills into new objects. Left with platers and wraths and feeling relaxed. Thanks Louise, another fabulous workshop.       
  • I have really enjoyed the experience of using natural materials. The tutor was very interested in and enthusiastic to help us achieve our finished articles. She always explained the intricacies of the craft.  This was something I have always wished to do   
  • Good mix of taught/demonstration and independent work. Thank you I really enjoyed the day   
  • Relaxation, enjoyment, and some lovely Christmas Decorations to boot.  Excellent!
  • Enjoyable lesson. Teacher helpful and thorough in explaining things
  • Very good. Learnt a new skill and would like to learn more! Really enjoyed the course. 
  • Excellent! Louise is lovely and very supportive.  I've learnt the basics of a useful skill
  • Good venue.  Friendly teacher.  Very pleasant way to spend a rainy Saturday
  • Clear instructions. Tutor happy to repeat to reference learning. Made something I am proud of and built my confidence.  Many thanks for a lovely weekend
  • Learning how to make a basket was much harder than I thought but I had lots of support from Louise who was very good, calm and explained each stage very well. It was lovely to be in her workshop and I left with a basket!
  • Excellent course. Excellent and very knowledgeable tutor. Very patient with a very good teaching style for this subject. Thank you Louise I feel inspired to have another go and carry on with more projects.
  • Great teaching, really knowledgeable and enjoyable.  Fantastic!
  • Thank you, Louise. Very good, informative. Skilled and friendly teacher.
  • Really excellent course.  Achieved a lot. More should be run!
  • Really nice atmosphere and clear patient instruction. Great day” Really enjoyed it.
  • Excellent! Clear well-paced instructions – quiet help when needed but praise in abundance for my amateur effort! Thank you – an enjoyable day.
Courses Information

Basketweaving Workshop: Christmas Decorations - Stars - Day Time

Course Code: G13C
Course Dates: 19 Nov 2020 - 19 Nov 2020
Course Fees: £35
Location: Weeke - AHED Centre

Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change. For degree programmes, please note that the fee showing is charged per annum.

For more information on fees and discounts please see our web site footer 'Enrolment & Fees' – 'Financial Support'.

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