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.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Danish basket makers visiting Lakeshore Willows. Wainfleet, Ontario for exciting willow basketry classes 2014


2014 will see some extraordinary Danish basket makers teaching at Lakeshore Willows. Anne Mette Hjornholm, Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden are all some of Denmark's most accomplished, talented, internationally known willow artists. They are all members of the Danish willow artist group Baskets4Life.

I am so excited to be able to share some of their abundance of knowledge and experience with people interested in learning willow basketry in Canada and the US. In addition to mastering all the fundamentals they each have their personal preferences and styles. Visit their websites (click on their names above) for inspiration to decide on which classes to take this summer.

Anne Mette Hjornholm 's third annual visit with two 2-day classes in May will focus on round and oval bases as a fundamental part of a basket.
You can choose to participate in one of the classes or both classes where you over the 4 days work continuously on your projects. Baskets made during these classes will be of many different sizes, shapes, weaving techniques, handles, borders etc as participants choose what they want to make/learn guided by Anne Mette paying attention to the individual's prior experience.
To register for Anne Mette's classes visit my website here.

Ane Lyngsgaard will be teaching one 1-day class and one 2-day class. One of Ane's passions is working with bark and other natural materials which will be the topic of the one-day class. 



























She will teach her petticoat basket and purses on a Catalan base on her 2-day class.
To register for Ane's classes visit my website here.

Eva Seidenfaden, who has visited British Columbia many times to teach willow basketry, will be teaching a 1-day class as well as a 2-day class.
Eva will teach the Polish breadbasket - Tatzca basket - on the one day class
 For her 2-day class Eva has brought some unique wooden bases for you to make your very special basket on. You decide how the beautiful wood slices will play along with the willow to create baskets, containers of different sizes, shapes and styles. 
 To register for Eva's classes visit my website here.

Don't miss out - classes WILL fill up fast!
Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hello to the New Year 2014

2013 was an exciting year here at Lakeshore Willows with workshops and new developments.
Now that the Christmas markets, events and workshops  are done - the photo above is from the Christmas event at Vineland Estates Winery in December - and as the year is coming to an end, it is time to make some plans for 2014.





The garden globe has been popular at workshops here and is offered as a project to do at a one-day workshop again next year.
For other workshop projects available check out "Workshops and Events"
In January and February a workshop on the Tatza basket is offered at Vineland Estates Winery in combination with a delicious lunch at the winery restaurant and also winery tour and wine & cheese pairing seminar. Scheduled dates are January 25th and February 22nd. Further information to be announced at our website and also at Vineland Estates Winery's website.






From lush and green to naked with changed colour palettes the willow is now ready to be harvested. We expect to start sometime in February - weather dependent - and living willow for propagation and living willow structures will be available after harvest. 
Orders are coming in and filled as received for shipping later in winter/early spring after harvest.















A few workshops have been scheduled for January, February, March and April and information can be found on my website www.lakeshorewillows.com under "Workshops and Events".
In addition to that we are very excited about willow basketry classes in May and June with 3 of Denmark's most talented, internationally known willow artists.
Detailed information about these classes will go out in a newsletter in January as well as being posted here at the blog and on the website.
In the meantime I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year 2014.
Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Willow basketry workshops scheduled

It has been a busy summer – and I will tell you more about that including my travel for basketry classes – but it is time for some willow basketry workshops here at Lakeshore willows in Wainfleet, Ontario.
I have just scheduled workshops for September, October, November and December and you can see the details on my website under Workshops and Events

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The weather has been perfect this year for growing willow here and I look forward to an exceptional harvest next winter. It is not so easy to take photos in the field that will show just how large some of the willow is, but the other day I had some help. With people walking in the field by the willow I was able to capture – from a distance – just how tall some of the varieties are growing.
Right behind the two ladies are Salix miyabeana and S var ‘Daves Green’ and further down is S x ‘Americana’





I have been practising some of the techniques that Anne Mette taught at the classes here last month (see previous 3 blog posts) as I am preparing for the upcoming markets.
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The Tatza baskets (Polish bread baskets) are fun to make and pretty. Using the same technique they can be made to look quite different depending on number of rods used, colours and variations in the pattern.
The baskets in the photo on the right are baskets on a Catalan base.




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As it is not common that you receive any written instructions at a willow basketry class, I usually take lots of notes and photos (just love digital cameras).
Unfortunately – as I was the hostess and go to at the classes as well as participating as a student – I didn’t take the time to take notes and only a few pics. That is why you can see my little notebook on the table next to the base of the basket that I made, while I still remembered a lot, after the classes. So what I missed during the days of classes, I caught up on a few days later.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Frame willow baskets – third Hjornholm class 2013

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 Also a two-day class we enjoyed making frame baskets of different styles, sizes and designs. Furthermore a few students who didn’t make it into our “Baskets on a Catalan Base” class were making a purse on a Catalan base during this class. 

Anne Mette taught us the basics of making big rings of willow for the hoops of the baskets. Most of us succeeded somewhat with the rings, but when any of us had a challenge, Anne Mette’s strong hands and expertise from making hundreds of these rings quickly and seemingly without much effort magically fixed the ring.

For the rings I had cut some fresh rods of Salix dasyclados that has not been cut down the last two years and now have the strength, flexibility and tension that make for good rings. The rods had been cut 2 weeks before the class and were stored in the shade behind the barn.

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Cathryn working concentrated on her beautiful tray and in front of the barn with the finished product. Great job!

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These four baskets are basically the same although the shapes vary from almost round to oval and the sizing is different. The basket to the right has a random weave which looks very beautiful and will be finished off with bands of willow bark woven in between some of the willow.

As I mentioned in my earlier postings about Anne Mette’s classes here, it was a delight to watch how Anne Mette is able to cater to the needs of both the beginner and more experienced willow basket weaver. I believe that everyone went home full of inspiration and with some new skills learned.