Articles

27/28 October 2018 - Workshop with Tim Johnson

Tim explained the world-wide use of the twining technique, it being suitable for a wide variety of pliable plant material. To illustrate this, he brought along examples including those from Australia & Africa.

This weekend we used mainly rush from Iris's harvest, & some Spanish Esparto grass, which Tim demonstrated how to comb before use.

Members made a slim-line pouch with handles. It has a double-walled construction resulting in an attractive diagonal patterning. Some members also tried a variety of windmill base starts.

Many thanks to Tim for bringing his experience & expertise to this workshop.

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28 September 2018 - Taster day

Hertfordshire Basketry ran a basic basketry techniques taster day for non-members to come and have a go at willow weaving. It was held at Wymondley Baptist Church Hall and we had a good uptake of places. 

We showed the students how to make willow stars/flowers, which make great garden ornaments hidden among foliage, in addition to willow fat ball holders for the birds. Some really nice pieces were made by the end of the day.

Taster day

29 July 2018 - Rush Cutting

The river water level was quite low and the temperature very pleasant. We waded in and cut as low down as possible, then floated and passed the rush onto the team members on the bank.

After a mass cut (and picnic lunch) we tied the rush into bundles and brought it back to Iris's house and propped it up against a tall hedge to start drying.

One's swimwear collected an interesting array of river-life so a good shower before use of the swimming pool was advisable! We finished the afternoon with tea and some small project work done with pre-soaked last year's rush.

The bbq was cooked outside, but eaten inside because the wind was really quite strong. Everyone left after breakfast on Sunday as the weather was showery and we had enough rush cut for everyone's needs. Hats off to Margaret who took her bundle home on the train!rushcutting1

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16 September 2018 - plaiting workshop

Geraldine brought along a fascinating & varied display of plaited items, made from esparto grass, fan palm & rush. Some originated from Spain & Morocco; they included a coffee pot cover, bottle support, pouches, mats, bowls & baskets.

We had the choice of using rush (from Iris's supply), or strips of hand-coloured paper (thanks to Geraldine). Some members made Simple or Grecian plaits of up to 9 strands, or 7 & 9 strand twill plaits. Others chose to make a round plait out of rush, or paper, over a stick support.

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31 May 2018 - Herts County Show

Once again HB was allotted a privileged position at the front of the Basketry Marquee, courtesy of the BA. We also had a table outside for demonstration purposes.  Members showed a variety of techniques  including rush cordage & coiling, flax prep & plaiting, & traditional willow weaving, some incorporating fabric strips.  

In addition, we actively involved the public by teaching how to make a simple willow leaf or fish to add to our"tree" structure at the marquee entrance. And to top it all, the weather was glorious! 

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Jane Ingall