Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This blog, WILLOWS has for a long time now acted both as a blog and a website.
After a long time coming I finally took the time to set up a website and I hope you like it: 

This, of course, means that there will be some changes to the blog as information will be placed on the website and WILLOWS will revert to being a blog with references to the website.

Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


What an amazing opportunity! One of Europe's most talented willow artists - Anne Mette Hjornholm - will be visiting Lakeshore Willows again this summer to teach willow basketry classes.. 

If you like willow basketry, you don’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity to learn from this very talented willow artist. 4 classes with Anne Mette have been scheduled:
Friday, July 19th 2013
Saturday and Sunday July 20th-21st, 2013 (2-day class)
Monday and Tuesday July 22nd-23rd, 2013 (2-day class)
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

During the 6 days of classes a wide variety of designs and techniques will be taught and your project will be tailored after your preferences and skill level.

Each class will have a theme 
(click on photos to enlarge)

Friday the Tatza basket is taught. This is also called a Polish Bread basket. You will make 2-3 baskets of this type during this one day class.

Saturday and Sunday a wide variety of designs of baskets and purses made on a Catalan base will be available for you to choose from.

Monday and Tuesday again, a wide variety of designs of baskets, trays and sculptural designs "frame baskets with or without frames" will be available for you to choose from.

Wednesday you will learn the
Burkina technique and make 2-4 small, charming baskets at this one day class.

More information about the classes - and a registration form - can be found under the tab "Hjornholm 2013 class" at the top and don't forget to check out Anne Mette's web-site Hjornholm Pil - now also an English version. 

Last year Anne Mette's class was filled within one week! So if you want to take one or more of this year's classes, make sure to register NOW.

Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Living Willow Workshops Spring 2013

Winter is here, but in another month we will be anxious to get our hands dirty in the garden.
Luckily that's the time to create living willow trees for your patio and garden and we have scheduled a number of workshops during March and April. At the workshops this spring you will be able to make
Harlequin tree
Variations of the twisted tree

Or multi-stemmed columnar trees where a number of living rods are woven together in a circle or square.

For information about scheduled workshops, time, cost etc, please look under the tab "Workshops and Events" at the top.

Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Learning new techniques and honing your skills

Everything new is difficult (for most people, I believe) but perfect practice makes much better perfect. Just think of - if you remember - the first time you tried to ride a bike, write letters, knitting etc. The same is true for making willow baskets.

After I made my first willow basket at a course in Denmark in May 2008 I, unfortunately,  didn't have the opportunity to go home and practice. I simply didn't have any basketry willow yet and I couldn't find any to buy or a teacher who could help. I made my second basket almost one year later in February 2009 with a friend and not until June 2010 did I have my third opportunity to weave with willow at a four day class instructed by Jo Campbell Amsler.

Later that year I had enough dried willow to start making willow bird feeders and slowly I ventured into willow basketry on my own.

When I participated in the HandMade Market for the first time in September 2011, I just had various bird feeders and a few woven trees for sale.

During a visit to Denmark in spring 2011 I went to see Anne Mette Hjornholm - who is one of Denmark's very talented willow basket makers. Take a look at her web-site which now also has an English version. We discussed the possibility of her teaching a course here in spring of 2012 and by the fall of 2011 we knew that it could be arranged. Anne Mette's visit and class here was very successful and gave me an enormous boost.

Different techniques and baskets were taught at the class and in July I met with 3 other students from the class for 3 wonderful days at the Toronto Island working on - and sharing with each other - some of the new techniques learned from Anne Mette.

In the meantime I attended "Willow Gathering 2012" in Decorah, Iowa in June. What a wonderful event! Again I had an opportunity to learn new techniques from a very skilled teacher Katherine Lewis. The rest of the summer and fall was spent practicing my learned skills and I'll tell you: Nothing beats practice in perfecting your skills. I'm getting there.
Rope coil baskets 
Small shopper

Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.