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


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.
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.


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


 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.