It has been a very busy start to the year with lots of teaching one to one as well as group workshops at Assington Mill in Suffolk and The Museum of Cambridge, formerly the Folk Museum. The latter venues workshop formed part of The Cambridge History Festival and 12 learners made willow platters in a variety of willows, Birch pruning’s and Cambridgeshire Rush that I harvested last Summer. No mean feet as the session was only 3 hours long but the results were fabulous with rope making and 4 strand flat plaiting of the Rushes to create stripes of contrasting colour and texture.
One of my regular students was keen to focus on the Burkina plaiting technique so I spent a day guiding her through the weaving of a lightweight but strong shoulder basket. After taking time to select, clean and sort the Rushes into groups to be used at specific points within the basket, her focus was on how to hold the plait correctly with the vessel created upside down. It took about 6 hours to complete with a quick lunch and I think the resulting basket was super.