Textile basketry – twined tubes and vessels with Mary Crabb

Basketmaking, chair seating and willow work

Ref: SWE11851

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About this course

Learn how to twine, working around a tubular mould to create tubes and vessels. The focus will be on form, surface textures and details.

Course Description

This course will focus on the technique of twining; specifically working to create tubular forms with the aid of a mould.

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, addition of warp threads, tensioning and finishing will be covered.

You will work on one simple form; a tube, around tubular formers and thick willow sticks. Techiniques will be taught for the weaving of a tube, and a tube with a round base to create a vessel. As well as twining around the formers, both removable and permanent, students will be focusing on surface texture and detail, rather than colour and patterned weaves. This will be encouraged by the suggestion to work with a monochrome theme, looking more specifically at the quality of the lines the twining creates, working with fine flexible contrasting threads, such as paper, wool and other natural fibres. Ideas for other surface embelishments will be offered. Patterns created by manipulating warp threads will be covered, which will leave interesting spaces and shapes in the length of the tubes.

The tutor will demonstrate techniques, provide visual notes and offer individual support to enable you to create your own unique twined tubes and vessels. A suitable course for beginners with no experience of twined basketry. Please note, the work is small and twining can be tiring on the hands, neck and shoulders so 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 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


  • On this course the tutor will supply all of the materials including moulds, thread, wools, string, paper yarns, twine, light fabric and cords, in a selection of colours and textures.
  • Tools will be available to loan if required.

What students need to bring

  • A notebook or sketchbook for recording any additional information.
  • A camera may be useful for recording the stages of working.
  • Please bring reading glasses if required for close work.
  • Scissors, a pair suitable for cutting string and a finer pair for threads, available for loan if required.
  • Any tubular form images for inspiration, or monochrome examples would be useful for inspiration.
  • You are welcome to bring small quantities of your own threads etc., to incorporate into your work. No finer than sewing thread and no thicker than double knitting wool.
  • A selection of small beads might be interesting to add as surface decoration.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A selection of needles
Asthma and hay fever suffers are recommended to bring their medication as occasionally the fibres from some strings may bring on symptoms. Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


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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