Basketmaking – an English squarework log basket with Stephen Caulfield

Basketmaking, chair seating and willow work

Ref: SWE11237

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Places available

About this course

Build on your existing basketmaking skills to acquire the skills needed to make successful square or rectangular work. Learn how to make a randed square base, and sides with different coloured willows. Add finger holes to complete your square basket, which will make a beautiful and functional log basket.

Course Description

On this course, you will learn traditional English basket making techniques to make a randed rectangular base and stake up the sides. You will use waling to hold the stakes upright before you rand the sides of your basket in different coloured willow varieties, (varieties subject to availability). You will complete your basket with two sets of finger holes on both short ends by forward and reverse randing; then border down the top by using the stakes to hold everything together.

Making square or rectangular work is more skilled than round or oval work, as you need to keep the corners at 90 degrees to make it look its best. This course will give you the skills to develop other square or rectangular pieces in your own basket work.


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


  • Brown and steamed willow, and flanders red with skins on (if available) will be supplied by the College to make your basket.
  • The tutor will supply some extra materials including buff and white willow at an extra cost, if you wish to incorporate.

What students need to bring

  • Tools may be borrowed from the tutor, but please bring as many of the following as you have available (but do not buy anything especially before you come):
  • For willow basketmaking:
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler – at least 1ft long
  • 2–3 spring clothes pegs
  • Pair of sharp secateurs (preferably ‘parrot-beak’ shape), and a good penknife
  • Small hammer or rapping iron
  • Basketmakers’ bodkin (at least 5") – can be borrowed from the tutor
  • A couple of large old towels
  • An apron
  • Sturdy covered footwear in the workshop – this is an essential health and safety requirement.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Masking tape
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Available from tutor:
  • White willow
  • Buff willow


Stephen Caulfield

Stephen Caulfield is a professional basketmaker with over 33 years experience. He trained at Wilwood Products in 1985 as an apprentice in Brighton and after two years he started on piecework. He has supplied Harrods, Movies and TV channels, The London Palladium, and Glyndebourne Opera. Commissions include 28 hampers for all the NATO leaders. He is a member of The Basketmakers' Association.


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

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