Basketmaking, chair seating and willow work

Textile basketry – patterned pods and pockets with Mary Crabb

Ref: SWE10783


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2 places available

About this course

Explore the potential of patterns, with an emphasis on small scale twining. You will make several samples, either pods and/or pockets, while developing patterns with colour or surface detail.

Course Description

Learn the technique of twining, making a connection with both basketry and textiles. Twining requires the weaving of an active element around a passive warp. The weaving is worked in the hands with the use of a few simple tools. Basics of joining in new threads, changing colours and working with more than one colour will be covered. You will be taught how to weave two forms: a simple pod and a pocket focusing on patterning.

This course will explore the potential of patterns within the context of the twining process. With an emphasis on small scale twining, you will make several samples, either pods and/or pockets. As part of the designing of the patterns, you will be learning about half and full twines, as well as single and pair twined weaves. These can be used to create different surfaces in the weaving, as well as for alternating colours in a pattern. Patterns could be about the surface and just use one colour, or incorporate two, and focus on the placing of the colours. Designs can be generated with pencil and paper methods before weaving, and for recording afterwards. There will be a range of textile threads and twines, such as flax twine, wools, and cottons supplied to work with.

The tutor will demonstrate techniques, provide visual notes and offer individual support to enable you to create your own decorative woven forms. The course is most suitable for beginner and intermediate skill levels, although previous experience of willow basketry or twining would be an advantage. Please note, the work is small and twining can be tiring on the hands, please consider this before booking.


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, 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


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing materials shared amongst the group.
  • Materials provided and equipment loaned by the tutor include:
  • Thread, twines, wools, and cottons in a selection of colours and textures.
  • Scissors, a pair suitable for cutting string and twine, and a finer pair for threads.
  • Large eyed needles, metal and plastic.
  • Tape measures, rulers, masking tape, coloured pencils or pens, pencil, rubber, squared paper.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring any of the above, if you have them, and in addition:
  • A notebook or sketchbook for recording any additional information.
  • Reading glasses are advisable if you need them for close up work.
  • A camera may be useful for recording your work.
  • Please bring examples of woven patterns, especially twined if you have any.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A range of needles.
Please wear suitable clothing and footwear for a workshop environment. Asthma and hay fever suffers are recommended to bring their medication as occasionally the fibres from some threads and strings may bring on symptoms.


Mary Crabb

Mary Crabb is an award-winning contemporary basketmaker. Having originally worked in willow, Mary now works with fine flexible materials, both natural and man-made, to create small, detailed and decorative woven forms exploring the connection between basketry and textiles.


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

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