What We Do

Creating willow figures for Stockwood Discovery Centre

24-25 March - Making willow figures for a display at Stockwood Discovery Centre.

stockwood1 2We met in a disused farm building belonging to Jane Ingall, near Hitchin, fixed boards to walls and projected the small drawings onto the boards bringing them up to life size. We then marked, drilled and pegged the outlines of the figures with dowel for the initial pairing. We have a runner, gymnast, footballer, weightlifter, swimmer and cyclist. We will also make two Olympic torches, a bicycle, a football and some weights for the weight lifter.

The weaving is being done in willow by lots of different Hertfordhsire Basketry members. See our Stockwood Figures gallery for more images of the work.

Willow cutting with Olivia Elton Barrett

17 February 2012 - Cutting willow with Olivia Elton Barrett

We were invited by Olivia Elton Barrett to come and cut the willow on Olivia's willow beds because she had more than she was going to be able to use. The weather was a lovely winters day and the colours of the willow were amazing.

olivia1  olivia3

Read more: Willow cutting with Olivia Elton Barrett

Bark Workshop

14 January 2012 - Bark workshop with Maggie Smith

bark pouchesMaggie inspired us with a wonderful array of her own work made from various barks.  After a demo we were able to use a specialised cutting gadget which split the damp bark into fine strips. With these we endeavoured to make a slim plaited pouch.  For the afternoon session Maggie showed us how to create a bark pouch using a folding and stitching technique.





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Split Ply Braiding Workshop

12 November 2011 - Split Ply Braiding Workshop with Norma Adams

After a brief introduction to this technique, Norma showed the group a range of samples based on the ‘wave pattern’ braid which has attractive shape and movement to it. Members used a variety of plied threads: very fine cotton, jute, sisal, and chunky synthetic yarn and one member's own spun and random-dyed sheep’s wool to great effect. Norma demonstrated a couple of variations on the ‘wave pattern’ - ‘oriental waves’ & ‘cogs’.

Some members also experimented with their own creative ideas.

split ply braids 

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Frame basket making workshop

8 and 9 October 2011 - Frame basket making workshop with Alison Fitzgerald at Mill Green Museum, Welwyn.


Alison had premade the frames for the weekend, but we spent the first morning learning to make our own frame to take home and use later. Then we learnt how to make the first 3 ribs from split willow rods, and how to set the shape of the basket. After that it was weaving, more ribs, weaving, constant checking of the shape, more weaving until by Sunday afternoon we had all finally filled in the last gap. Alison demonstrated a twisted willow handle  but no-one had time to get these done. A lovely venue, and a very interesting workshop, it was just a pity we could only accommodate eight members.

teaching frame basketmaking  weaving the basket 

Read more: Frame basket making workshop