Lattice twining for small bags and baskets with Tim Johnson

Basketmaking, chair seating and willow work Constructed and woven textiles

Ref: S2D12113

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About this course

Explore this uncommon and beautiful twining technique inspired by Peruvian textile structures. We will combine dyed chair seating cane with coloured cordage to create handbags and baskets with a diagonal pattern and intricate texture.

Course Description

On this course you will make small bags and pouches with this beautiful technique traditionally found in ancient Peruvian textiles and in the bags and baskets of the North American Eastern Woodland Indians. Inspired by these traditions you will explore their twining structures and gain an insight into their remarkable weaving technologies.

Flexible coloured threads and strings may be used as weavers, while dyed chair seating cane will be used for the stakes that travel obliquely through the structure creating interesting contrasts of colour and texture. Your bags and baskets may be worn as small handbags or hung on the wall as functional or decorative containers.

On the first evening of the course we will look at a variety of twined baskets from Tim’s collection and gain an insight into this family of weaving techniques with many traditional applications. You will also learn about the ancient Peruvian and native American traditions.

Over the following two days you will use these techniques to make bags, baskets and pouches. The special structure of this technique, that can be thought of as combining plaiting with twining, offers many possibilities for pattern and contrast. Combining dyed chair seating cane with a variety of cotton, linen, hemp and sisal strings in different colours and thicknesses you will design your own bags to suit your taste and style. 


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

Scissors, water sprayer, cloth to keep your work damp, notebook
Clothes pegs – just a few to help you holding your work.
You may find other basket making tools useful including: rush threader, darning/sacking needles
Scissors and side cutters/small clippers if you have them.
Sturdy covered footwear in the workshop – this is an essential health and safety requirement.

Available to buy

Available from shop:
Large darning needle
Rush threaders
Some strings and cordage of interest may be in stock
Notebook and pencil

Available from tutor:
The tutor will supply all of the materials and the cost of around £20 per student should be paid directly to him by the end of the course. These materials will include:
Dyed chair seating cane – Tim will dye the cane in advance, this has both shiny and matt sides which can be used creatively for contrast.
A variety of coloured hemp, cotton, sisal, linen and cotton threads and strings. 
Tim will also bring along additional tools and materials for sale at the end of the course. 

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Tim Johnson

Over the past 25 years, artist and basketmaker Tim Johnson has explored the relationships of material, place, nature and culture. His diverse creative practice encompasses basketmaking and performance, photography and painting, sculpture and installation, textiles and costume, his work has been exhibited internationally.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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