WIL­LOW BAS­KET WEAV­ING

Country Living (UK) - - The Good Life -

I CAN’T RE­SIST A BAS­KET, WHETHER IT’S FOR HOLD­ING

LOGS, stor­ing fruit or tidy­ing chil­dren’s toys away, so as soon as I had the chance to make my own, I jumped at it quicker than you can say ‘bod­kin’ (one of the many terms of the trade). Along with five other novices, I joined Deb Hart in her ru­ral Es­sex stu­dio to learn the an­cient skill. Soon we were dis­cov­er­ing that the craft has a whole lan­guage of its own, from ty­ing the slath (part of pre­par­ing the base) to slyp­ing (cut­ting at an an­gle). By lunchtime, the up­stakes (ver­ti­cal frame­work) were in place ready for us to cre­ate the body of the bas­ket. In the af­ter­noon we slowly per­fected the art of se­lect­ing weavers (lengths of wil­low) of a con­sis­tent thick­ness to avoid pro­duc­ing a bent bas­ket and Deb proved to be end­lessly pa­tient as she cheer­fully showed me the cor­rect tech­nique for the umpteenth time. I came away with a Pol­ish-style de­sign with an at­trac­tive (in­ten­tional) grad­u­ated rim and a sturdy hazel han­dle (above), which gives me pleasure ev­ery time I pop the re­cy­cling into it.

Be­gin­ner’s Bas­ket Weav­ing, Bock­ing, Es­sex; £55 (deb­hart.co.uk).

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