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Willow Basketry Course in Ipswich



In a fast changing world many of us want to reduce our reliance on plastics, have the satisfaction of making things ourselves, and work with natural, unprocessed materials which bring us closer to nature. Learning to make willow baskets fulfils all of these desires and can be a springboard to a new career in craft or simply a lifetime pleasure.

In a new venture, supported by the Charity of The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers, Easton & Otley College is offering an eight session Willow Basketry course taught by a well known local maker and tutor, Jo Hammond. The generous support of WCB means that the course will be affordable and with the majority of sessions taking place on Saturdays once a month accessible for those in employment.

This is a rare opportunity to learn a heritage craft in far greater depth than most leisure courses can offer, working through the fascinating range of skills and techniques that go into beautiful and functional willow baskets.

At completion of the course, participants will have become competent with all the main techniques of round and oval basket making, aiming for work of a saleable standard. They will have gained sufficient skill and knowledge to be able to move forward as makers, or to continue enjoying basketry as a hobby.

During each taught session, students will be introduced to skills and techniques through demonstration and practice. Each new practical skill is to be repeated and learned fully during the weeks between sessions. Group learning will also take place through discussion and students will be given suggestions for homework involving research and basketry design to build their understanding of the context and application of their practical skills.

An allowance for materials has been included, one traditional bundle of willow (or its equivalent) will be brought along by the tutor ready prepared for each session, and any left over divided between students for practice at home. Students are likely to need to independently purchase some willow for themselves as they progress through the course. After the first session students will be expected to bring their own tools, the minimum being: Secateurs, Bodkin, Knife, Rapping Iron, Weight and Tallow Container.

Please note, students will need to be in reasonably good health and have a firm grip to be able to cope with the physical demands of willow basketry. To book or for more information please call

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