11 JUNE SCYTHE FAIR LANGPORT SOMERSET 11am -11pm
8-9th JULY TEWKESBURY MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL sat 11-6pm sunday 11-5pm
5 and 6th ,12 and 13th AUGUST LOXWOOD JOUST 10-6pm daily
16 AUGUST GIL AND SHAFTESBURY SHOW 8.30 - 6pm
26-27th AUGUST OAK FAIR STOCK GAYLARD ESTATE STURMINSTER NEWTON 10 - 5pm daily
16 - 17 th SEPTEMBER ROYAL BERKSHIRE SHOW
2-3 rd DEC NEW FOREST CHRISTMAS FAIR EXBURY GARDENS EXBURY SO45 1AZ 10-4pm daily
willow basketmaking 1 day courses
Attend a course with cath and get hands-on experience. Basketmaking isn’t something you can learn easily from a book, although books can give you lots of ideas after you’ve mastered the basics. You don’t need much equipment to get started – just secateurs and a sharp craft knife. Then practice, practice, practice. As with most things, you need to do it a lot to get really good at it, although almost everyone will be able to make a functioning basket at their first attempt. Plenty of companies sell willow and other materials, and when you learn with a basketmaker, they will give you information on sources of materials; or you could just get out there into nature and see what you can find. Just experiment and see what works well. In the UK the three main traditions are willow, rush and split wood basketry. But there are many other suitable plants in the UK – if it’s long, strong and flexible it’s worth a try.
- more people want to learn traditional skills these days, especially those involving natural materials. There is a desire to connect with history and with nature, as well as environmental concerns over the use of plastics and oil-based products
- baskets are biodegradable, but they can also be easily repaired. Not many things are repaired any more, but baskets made of willow or other woods can easily last over 100 years, and be repaired many times
- baskets can be made from foraged hedgerow plants, meaning that they’ll not only be natural and involve close contact with nature, but they’ll also be free
- other materials can be ‘upcycled‘ into baskets, including plastic bags, wire, drinks cartons etc.
- most people in the West have lost connection with the cycle of production of daily objects. By harvesting and processing natural materials, then making useful objects with them, you can experience the entire production process, with which comes a recognition of what it takes to make things and an appreciation of the value of resources
- basketmaking is a satisfying creative process, and although it can be technically demanding, it slows you down to the speed that the material demands, which can be meditative and beneficial to well-being
coffin making info
Willow coffins are completely natural and biodegradable and are among the most environmentally friendly coffins available. They are the ultimate in environmental recycling as willow is a highly renewable crop harvested each year which involves minimal processing and it can also degrade rapidly in the soil. On this course you will learn how to make a round ended willow coffin, with sisal rope handles, a woven base and lid with fittings using hazel wood. The coffin that you make will be yours to take home.
The course is suitable for those who have some basket making experience,as this course can be phisically demanding on hands and arms,and requires stamina and strength,The techniques used will include scalloming, waling, single French randing, English randing, and borders. How to sort and prepare materials ready for making the coffin. Learn advanced techniques, working with large material, a variety of weaves and fixings and fastenings.
We will be working in an outside workshop with no heating,so bring warm clothes,and also any of your own basketmaking tools if you wish to ,but we have a variety of tools here.
Coffin Making Workshops
The coffin making workshops run for three days, one-to-one with Cath.
The first day we build up the base ,by making a frame from tohiti cane,bracing it and preparing base sticks then we will weave the base and get the materials ready for day two which involves sorting wailers and weavers,and slyping all the uprights.
We build the main part of the basket,scalloming in the uprights around the base weaving the sides and putting in the rope handles and doing a boarder We will then prepare the frame for the lid and get willow ready for day 3.
We will construct the lid,which is similar th the base, put in the fittings to hold lid on using hazel sticks.
Cost: £575 and a booking fee of £100 which will be deducted from the price.
This includes materials, lunches and refreshments, please contact me for more information or any questions.
Group Basket Making Workshops
All courses are suitable for beginners and intermediates
For 8-16 people. Minimum of 6 people.
A one day workshop run in a local village hall. I am willing to travel if there is a large enough group, please contact me for more details.
Cost: £75 per person
This includes materials and refreshments, please bring a packed lunch.
On a one day course the items available to make;
- Hazel rod handle apple basket
- Garden obelisks
- Small round fruit basket
- Large flat tray basket
Our two day workshops are the same as above.
Cost: £125 per person
This includes materials and refreshments, please bring a packed lunch.
On a two day course, items available to make:
- Large log basket
- Willow backpacks
- Laundry basket with a fitted lid
ONE DAY WORKSHOPS WITH DORSET WEAVER CATH PRATLEY
£75 per person.please bring your own lunch.Refreshments available all day.price includes materials.All the workshops are suitable for beginners and improvers.youwill come away with something beautiful,strong and enviromentaly friendly,and something you have personally made.We use black maul and dickymeadows willow mainly which is grown at musgrove willows somerset.Tools will be provided on the day but it will be helpful to bring a sharp knife and some secateurs.All workshops run from 10am till 4 pm.
.APPLEPICKING BASKETwith hazel rod handle.we will be constructing a round basket using dickymeadows and white willow.using a twisted piece of hazel for the handle. can be used for storing fruit and veg.
WILLOW SHOULDER BAG with a leather shoulder strap.This course is more suitable for people with a bit of weaving experience as we will be making an oval base.This smart oval shoulder bag is made using dickymeadows green willow.
GARDEN STRUCTURES. Take home 2-3 structures for the garden.aplant support suitable for most climbers and sweetpeas,a garden lantern which holds a jamjar and a tealight,and if theres time,a cone basket plantpot holder.
OPEN WORKSHOP.Come along and make a basket,or you may have a basket to finish,or repair,or just practice bases,handles and boarders.
.CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS.Join us to make willow christmas decorations,which include willow wreaths,angels,stars and christmas trees.and can be decorated with ribbon,glitter,holly and ivy.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ORGANISE YOUR OWN WILLOW WEAVING WORKSHOPS OR BOOK INTO ANY OF THE ABOVE ,PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL CATH PRATLEY .
Jake whitecroft says
I spent 3 great days learning the ins and outs of coffin making with Cath in dorset. Cath's passion for willow work and coffin making was really inspiring. I left feeling all fired up ready to make more coffins when I got home. Over the three days Cath took time to explain things and demonstrate techniques properly which was just what i needed. As well as the weaving side, it was a real pleasure to spend time with Cath her family and her lovely dog. Bruce. I'd thoroughly recommend her course to anyone interested in the making of willow coffins.
Elizabeth Smalley says:
The three day course was an absolute joy to attend.The course was run from Cath's beautiful Dorset cottage. Her passion for weaving is inspirational, we both wanted to make lots more willow things. Cath's calm and knowledgeable approach meant we both learned so much in a few days. The added bonus being we bought home a lovely piece of willow work to be proud of. Thank you.