Basketmaking and Willow Sculpture Courses in Manchester 2017-2018

My new season of courses begins in September, with a mixture of midweek and weekend 1 day and 2 day courses, and new for this year, an exciting and longer structured course of 6 one day sessions over 6 consecutive weeks for anyone wishing to learn the rudiments of basketmaking and go beyond.


Dates to be confirmed- 6 Week Wednesday Basketmaking School – this course will run from 10am to 4pm – £360 plus materials

Over these six 1 day sessions, students will be taught a structured program of techniques, making bases, using a variety of weaves and willow, learning how to prepare willow, learning how to control shape and design their own baskets. We will be concentrating on round traditional stake and strand basketry and exploring how to use the techniques to create strong and exciting baskets. Though a mixture of group demonstration and one to one guidance, over the duration of the course, students will be gain a set of skills to take them into exploring basketmaking beyond the end of the course for themselves.

The course is highly suitable for beginners and improvers.

If you are interested please contact me.

Living Willow Hideaway – 1 day £70 – Philips Park, Whitefield, Manchester

  • Sun 25th Feb 2018

Over this 1 day course, you’ll learn all the techniques for marking out and preparing the ground for making a willow den; how to prepare and plant the willow and the different weaving techniques that can be used when building the structure, and guidance on aftercare.

We’ll be making living willow den on site, from start to finish.



Living Willow Fences and Tunnels – 1 day £70 – Philips Park, Whitefield

  • Sun 21st Jan 2018

Learn how to plant and weave living willow. In the morning will concentrate on ground prep for a tunnel and the afternoon spent weaving it and making a living willow fence. You’ll learn how to create different shapes with the technique, and how to look after the new growth. It’s a versatile technique which can be used to make screens and dens as well as fences. 

Working on living willow fence

Working on living willow fence

Willow Fairy Sculpture – 1 day £70 – Chorlton/Central Manchester

  • Sat 3rd Mar 2018

This one day workshop is a chance to try different ways to use willow and make your own willow garden sculpture


One Day Basket Making Course – £75 – Chorlton/Central Manchester

  • Wed 1st Nov 2017 – Chorlton or Central Manchester tbc
  • Sat 27th Jan 2018 – The Barn Countryside Centre, Philips Park, Whitefield, Manchester

One day basketmaking course – make a beautiful and sturdy round or oval basket with steamed, brown and peeled willows, similar to the ones below, and learn how to prepare willow. Course is suitable for beginners and improvers.

Made on a one day basketmaking course

Made on a one day basketmaking course


Two Day Basket Making Course – £130 

  • Sat 14th – Sun 15th Oct 2017 – The Barn Countryside Centre, Philips Park, Whitefield
  • Sat 13th – Sun 14th January 2018 – The Barn Countryside Centre, Philips Park, Whitefield

A 2 day course for beginners and improvers. We’ll be making round stake and strand baskets, using pairing weave for base, a different method to the 1 day course workshops. Stake and strand baskets all start off with the same basic techniques but on this longer course you’ll be able to make a basket to your own size and shape, using a variety of Somerset willows, and different weaves.



About the courses

All courses are suitable for beginners and improvers, unless otherwise stated.

The courses are held in The Barn Countryside Centre, Whitefield; Talbot Mill, central Manchester, and in Chorlton.

The sessions are from 9.30am-4.30pm, tools are provided and materials are included in the cost of each course unless otherwise stated. There is a maximum of 6 places on each course.

Hot drinks included so just bring lunch.

About the willow

P1220706I use a mixture of basketry willows, some grown in Somerset and some coppiced locally, and on specific courses we may also use other materials. Basketry willows are one year old rods which are either dried with the bark left on (known as ‘brown’ willow); boiled with the bark on, to release the tannins giving a golden colour when peeled (known as ‘buff’), or else peeled in spring when the sap rises and the bark can be easily stripped, revealing a bright white rod (‘white’ willow).Before using, the willow needs soaking in cold water, and for brown willow this can be between 3 and 7 days depending on the size, the time of year and the variety of willow.

Booking information

There are 6 places on each course.

The cost includes all materials. Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment. 

Want to treat someone else?  I will happily send a gift voucher if you wish to give a course as a present  please contact me and I’ll send the recipient a course gift vouchers which will be valid for a year from purchase.

If you’re interested in booking or want more information please feel free to contact me.

Classroom screen, Holden Clough Primary School, Ashton-under-Lyne