The aim of this course is to encourage the use of renewable resources by weaving with a sustainable material which has strength, beauty and a long life. Designs for today's lifestyles - rectangular baskets for supermarket shopping, arm baskets for the farmers market, box baskets for home storage, letter trays for the desk, and washing baskets can be chosen after discussion with the tutor.
You will gain or improve your willow skills, producing two pieces of average size. You also learn something of the history of this traditional material, details of growth, harvesting and preparation and be able to continue weaving at home.
Willow available will be both peeled, boiled buff and brown, with barks of beautiful colours (if available). Techniques include the use of a screw block for weaving square structures in a simple way, and a variety of weaves and handles, as appropriate.
You will work on individual projects, following a discussion with the tutor. There will be group demonstrations, observation of completed objects and samples, by discussion with the group and individually with the tutor.
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.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
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)
Please note: if you are in doubt as to the requirements for the course, please contact the tutor for advice: email@example.com. Please include your name, course title, and course dates.
"Mary Butcher is a truly remarkable teacher who made the whole experience extremely enjoyable and rewarding while also imparting a great deal of information and knowledge to the students. West Dean is also a very pleasant place to stay and I thought the way meals, workshops and other facilities were managed greatly contributed to the pleasurable nature of my stay."
Mary Butcher is a basketmaker, exhibition curator, writer and teacher. She held a prestigious crafts residency at the V&A's Sackler Centre in 2009. Recent exhibitions include 'This Beloved Earth', The Barony, West Kilbride, Scotland, 'Basketry Making Human Nature' at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich 2012, Re-Making the Past from the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and tour, 2014 (a study in Bronze Age Creativity) and 'Dimensions' in Denmark, 2016. She received an MBE for services to basketmaking in 2012 and one of two Crafts Skills Champions Awards in 2013.