Rush Tote in a Day

026Last Autumn a really enthusiastic lovely lady came to weave Cambridgeshire Rushes for the day with the aim of firming up basketry techniques she had learned a few years ago.

It was a long hot day with the morning spent weaving a round place mat with a twill centre and chain paired weave with a rolled then threaded away border. The afternoon was spent on a larger 3D project; a rectangular tote with leather handles. She chose a chain paired side weave for the speed it could be executed at, and a 3 rod border for strength. All woven in recently harvested and dried rush cut not far from where we live and filling the workshop with the scent of a hay meadow.

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Here are the results of her hard days concentrating- functional and attractive and excellent projects for solidifying weaving techniques. Many more learners have attended Rush weaving workshops since then and more posts detailing their great creations will follow. If you are interested in attending a workshop to create beautiful and functional baskets then please see my workshop dates post where venues and details are listed, or contact me to discuss a private workshop for up to 3 people maximum.

Teaching, teaching and some more teaching

Burkina plait "Humbug" Shoulder bag
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Final rows of weaving with cranked willow rods
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Finished shoulder basket in Cambridgeshire Rush using the Burkina Plait Technique woven by a student

 

 

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The finished platters in various willows, birch & rush

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Dates 2019

Here is a list of my teaching dates  planned so far for 2019 some of which take place at venues away from my workshop; please book directly with the venues .

There are classes taking place at my home workshop for a maximum of 4 people at a cost of £95.00 per person including  materials tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits . One to one workshops are £150.00. A non-refundable deposit of £25.00 per person is required to secure a workshop place.

If you wish to know when these are and their content then please contact me for more details, alternatively if you wish to arrange a workshop focusing on a specific technique or material please do get in touch to discuss possibilities by emailing  elybasketmaker@gmail.com

 

  •   Workshop Dates for 2019
  • Rush humbug baskets: play with the Burkina plait- 7th-12th April, Basketmakers’ Association Spring School, York Fully booked
  • Willow round baskets with Zig Zag side weave- Friday 26th April, 10am-4.30pm- Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, 01353 720274  Fully booked
  • Looped & knotted baskets & wall sculptures using garden leaves – 1st-2nd May, 10am-4pm, £130.00 Cambridge University Botanic Gardens http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk 
  • Willow & rush conical hanging storage baskets- Saturday 11th May , 10am-4pm-Cottenham Village College community@cvcweb.net 01954 288751
  • Focus on the Burkina Plait-Friday 17th May,9.30am-4pm, Wardy Hill Workshop, elybasketmaker@gmail.com 01353 776030 3 spaces left
  • Fine rush baskets & mats- Saturday 29th June, 10am-4pm- Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, nationaltrust.org.uk  01353 720274
  • Rush clutch baskets- 2pm Friday 5th-4pm Sunday 7th July ,Warwick University, email rushatwarwick@gmail.com for details
  • Rush hats and baskets summer school- 22nd-26th July, Cottenham Village College  community@cvcweb.net  01954 288751
  •  Rush mats & baskets- Saturday 21st September,10am-4pm- Cottenham Village College  community@cvcweb.net  01954 288751
  • Rush mats & baskets- 10th-11th October, 10am-4pm, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk