Sunday, February 1, 2015

Exceptional willow basketry classes at Lakeshore Willows, Wainfleet, Ontario

Some things have to be scheduled early, far in advance of the actual event.
One such thing is the willow basketry classes taught by renowned Danish basket makers Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden.
If you made it here for the classes last summer, you certainly want to come back for more - and if you didn't make it, you wish that you had. In both cases you have to be quick to be sure to get a spot this June.

2-day classes are offered June 15-16th:



Ane has a passion for working with bark (willow and other), creating beautiful bowls, purses, vases and much more.


During this 2-day class you will create your own bark container using willow bark and other natural materials. For more examples of Ane's bark work, see the class information on our website. 
This class is for weavers of all levels of experience.


Eva describes herself as a "non-traditional" basket maker with a thirst for exploring and experimenting.










During this 2-day class you will work with the frame of a traditional round willow basket - with the added benefit that you can make the side weave, handle, border etc your own design guided by Eva. 

If you are a beginner you will learn all the basic techniques in willow basket making and if you are more advanced, you have an opportunity to learn new techniques and details.
This class is for weavers of all levels of experience.


3-day classes are offered June 17-19th

Ane is well known for her beautiful asymmetrical, sculptural/functional organic baskets.

You will learn new techniques to accomplish this beautiful, flowing, organic shape in a tight weave. You choose if you want to make a more sculptural basket or a functional basket with a handle.
You can see more examples of this type of basket on Ane's website.
Some experience working with willow would be helpful.


Eva  and the French Perigord basket go hand in hand. She has studied this basket on numerous trips to France, visiting and learning from some of the "old" basket makers who made this market basket for practical use - and she even wrote a book about it! The book is in English and in addition to the stories and history of the Perigord basket it has detailed instructions and comes with a DVD.

The basket can be made with many variations and I think that everyone will agree that it is very beautiful in its clean, open look.
During this class you will study the basket learning the unique technique to create it.
For more images of the perigord basket visit Eva's website. Check out her gallery - you will find an abundance of beautiful images of her work.
Some experience working with willow would be helpful.

For more information about the classes and to register, please go to the event's page on Lakeshore Willows' website.












Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

From 2014 Willow Basketry events to new adventures in 2015



2014 started very slowly as we had a very cold and long winter. 


This photo is from March 30th and some of the willow field still has snow drifts more than 1 meter (3-4 feet) deep. We were getting anxious to harvest the willow before it all started to grow again.
March and April are usually the time for workshops creating living willow structures in pots. Because of the winter dragging on and on we only managed to have a few sessions, but we had a lot of fun.
I haven't been good at remembering to take photos during workshops. I have to get better at that to save the memories of some wonderful hours with great people eager to learn and excited about their creations.
Several workshops took place here during the year where I had the opportunity to share some of the basket making techniques that I have learned.
For the third year in a row we were fortunate to have Anne Mette Hjornholm here from Denmark to teach 4 wonderful days of classes.
Just three weeks later we had two more of Denmark's talented willow artists visiting.
 Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden taught 3 days of exciting classes.

The Southwestern Ontario Basketry Guild (SOBG) of which I am a business member, held a wonderful "Willow Retreat" at the Michaelite House Retreat Centre in London, Ontario
I had a great group of students making baskets on a Catalan base.
In August I also had the pleasure to visit The Branch Ranch to teach a week of classes. A wonderful place with great people and lots of fun.
We always end the year with a few winter/Christmas workshops that are fun and relaxed with emphasis on making smaller decorative items. We did have 3 sessions, but these two ladies were tough. They made it here in a severe snowstorm - all the way from Wisconsin and New York - while the other participants registered for that class (from Ontario)  cancelled because of the snow. 

Just as last year at this time we are now waiting for the snow to melt so that we can start harvesting our willow. Hopefully that will happen within the next 4-6 weeks.

In the meantime we have the first workshops of the new year 2015 this week, Wednesday and Thursday and more will be scheduled for the next few months including a few Living Willow sessions in March and April.

In addition to a few speaking engagements, workshops off site, a week long  series of classes at Haliburton School of Art and participation in Port Colborne's first Art week I am looking forward to once again welcoming Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden to teach classes here in June and Anne Mette Hjornholm to teach here for the forth year in September. 

Watch out for my next newsletter with information about the upcoming classes.

Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dormant willow cuttings and rods for propagation



Winter, snow and ice
of course, it is January in Wainfleet, Ontario, Canada so no gardening for us yet.


There is no doubt though, that gardeners and the like are thinking about the coming spring as we have orders coming in for dormant willow cuttings for gardeners and growers.
So whether you are looking for willow cuttings to plant for ornamental use in your garden, plant a larger willow bed for basketry, or creating living willow structures such as living willow fences, play domes and tunnels - NOW is the time to plan and to secure your order.

Orders are placed as they come in for delivery later in spring so although we haven't harvested the willow in the field yet, it is time for you to get your orders in if you plan on planting willows come spring.

For information about our willows and ordering dormant materials visit Lakeshore Willows website.

To see earlier posts about propagation, cuttings and rods click here.
Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Willow basket making classes scheduled for fall 2014




Want to make your very own willow basket for the first time, learn a new technique, practice what you know or focus on the finer details of a certain basket?

Here is your chance if you live  in - or travel to - Niagara, Ontario, more specifically here at Lakeshore Willows in Wainfleet.


We have scheduled several classes for the next couple of months and we still have a few spots open for each class. Check our website for details here.

The focus for each class is a specific basket, but if you are looking for something else, let me know and we can possibly fit that in too.




September 25-26, 2014 the class focus is on making a bird feeder.















September 27-28 and November 19-20, 2014
the class focus is on making oval baskets and purses on a Catalan base.








October 18, 2014 making Tatza baskets, garden globes or obelisks.














October 29-30, 2014 we're making either bird feeders or round baskets



















November 28-30 and December 12, 2014  one day Christmas/Winter workshops. We will make stars, wreaths cones, angels, small and large Christmas trees and much more. More images to come.


To sign up for any of the classes and workshops, please fill in a contact form on my website and I will get back to you.






Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My willow story

A month ago I was contacted by Jennifer Elliotson. She is the one many people know as the woman behind the HandMade Market here in Niagara which she produces along with her husband.
Or you may know her from her very successful years as a florist, owning Mimosa Flower Studio.
Jennifer contacted me because she - along with photographer Nataschia Wielink - has started "The Abstract Project" interviewing and photographing artists and wondered if I would participate. 
Of course. I was thrilled that they found my story interesting and one day in May they both came to Lakeshore Willows to talk and take some photos.
The first of two articles can be seen at Cherries in the Sun .
After Jennifer's first visit to Lakeshore Willows, she decided that she wanted to make a willow basket and she turned out to be a natural when she was here last week for a workshop.
Jennifer with her very first basket
She really loved my big log basket!

It was wonderful and very inspirational to get to know Jennifer. In Cherries in the Sun you get inspiration from this very (multi) talented, energetic and curious life-loving person.
Thank you Jennifer.
Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Willow weaving classes in Wainfleet, Ontario


The event of willow weaving classes here at Lakeshore Willows, Wainfleet, Ontario last week with Danish basket maker Anne Mette Hjornholm was - once again - a great success.
With students coming from Canada's East coast to USA's West coast and many places in between it is without doubt that there is an interest for learning willow basketry from some of the World's most talented weavers.

Paying attention to Anne Mette's introduction
We worked in the barn most of the time with a few of us migrating outside when the sun finally decided to chase away the clouds. 
This year we had 4 days of classes arranged as two 2 day classes so that students could choose to take one or both of the classes.

Those who chose to be here for all 4 days had a wonderful opportunity to start and finish different projects during the course of the 4 days and some brought home 2 and others 3 baskets.       
 As each two-day class didn't have a specific basket to be taught, you could work on your projects at your own pace without having to take home half finished baskets or idle for half a day as is sometimes the case when you have to "follow" the class.


We had planned the classes over the theme of round and oval bases being the foundation to master when making baskets.
Each student could choose which basket to make guided by Anne Mette and paying attention to her level of experience and many beautiful baskets were created.
There was a lot to be learned for both beginners and experienced weavers alike and we were all so very inspired by Anne Mette, her talent and workmanship. 
I know that I am not the only one looking forward to next time!
In the meantime I am looking forward to Danish basket makers Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden visiting to teach here in just over 3 weeks. Check it out here at the Willows blog in my last post and on Lakeshore Willows' website.

Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Willow Basketry Classes in Ontario with Renowned Danish Basket Makers


If you haven’t signed up yet for classes with the Danish basket makers visiting in June, now is the time to do it.

In June Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden will be teaching for 3 days on the 17, 18 and 19th.
We have a couple of spots left for each class… (Class description when you click on the highlighted name above)


These professional, experienced Danish basket makers are known internationally for their skill, incorporating and transforming traditional techniques into new designs.


In addition to the previously announced program for Eva's 2-day class, you will have the opportunity to work on a more traditional round or oval willow basket with a woven base  - learning new techniques or adding new details to techniques that you already know. Take a look at the Gallery at Eva's website to see some of her amazing work and for inspiration.

Baskets made during Eva's 2-day class will be of many different sizes, shapes, weaving techniques, handles, borders etc as participants choose what they want to make/learn guided by Eva, paying attention to the individual's prior experience.

Send me a mail at lakeshorewillows@gmail.com or via the contact form at my website Lakeshore Willows if you need more information about the classes before you sign up.

Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.