Thursday, 5 March 2015

Butts, Bellies, Backs And Bottoms!

Basketweaving has a language all its own. One of the fabulous things about Sunday for me [let’s ignore the A&E trip in the evening!] was learning all the words. Each piece of willow has a natural curve – the convex arched side is the back and the concave side is the belly. The thick end [as opposed to the slender growing tip] is the butt.The way you begin your basket is by constructing the bottom – please note English bottoms are much stronger, and last longer than Continental bottoms! A row of willow rods is a wale, and two or more woven together is a slew. When you trim a rod to make it fit, you slype it, and weaving the sides is randing. I could go on…


Julie King was utterly brilliant, a great teacher, full of useful tips and fascinating information about the craft. My second photo of her is out of focus because she was wielding her knife very fast as she slyped the rod! But here are 8 photos of the day – Julie demonstrating, my English bottom – and the second row shows the completion of the basket [after my fall, so my wrist was playing up and I don’t think things were quite as even after that] There were just six of us on the course, so we had plenty of help and support – and a well written instruction sheet too, to keep for future reference. I was utterly thrilled at the end of the day to be able to bring home such a lovely little basket – my first ever attempt at this craft. I’d recommend this workshop to anyone who is interested in learning the basics. Thank you Julie, for a superb day – and Steph [who gave me the experience as a Christmas gift]

Here’s my basket [I left the final trimming till later- by 5pm my hand wasn’t steady enough] I am really pleased with it!



  1. Brilliant basket!!

  2. Not only are you the ;bear' lady,but your bottom has been the subject of demonstration!
    Jane x

  3. you did well for your first try, very professional.

  4. It's a lovely little basket, well done!

  5. Wow it's beautiful. Well done.

  6. That's pretty amazing, especially given your calamity!

  7. Brilliant skill learned and a wonderful gift from your Daughter!
    Hoping the hand is feeling more comfortable now xx

  8. What a lovely basket! Isn't it wonderful to make your own, I'm sure you will get much use out of it and it will last for years. I knew basket making was hard on the hands but breaking bones! Hope it heals quickly :)


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