Willow shroud carrier

Our beautiful willow shroud carrier is a cradle shaped coffin basket with a flat wooden bottom and sjx strong rope handles wrapped in felt for ease of carrying lined with a natrual waxed waterptoof liner and felt .the basket contains a beautifully made thick woollen felt shroud to wrap your loved one in.the basket can then be covered in a beautifully designed felt lid which overlaps the basket and where the handles fit through slots in the felt cover to secure the lid .these baskets are suitable and designed for cremations .basket made by cradletogravewillowcoffins.co.uk and shrouds made by yuli at bellacouche



My brother died a year earlier. We decided to hold a one-year remembrance for him in this way. Family members came from Europe and The west coast to participate. Our boating friends were happy to help.The weather was perfect with light waves less than a foot as we headed out onto the lake in our motorboat. We played a selection of music and welcomed everyone to write private prayers to place in the basket of the boat along with several photos and mementos.

Under way, a seven jet formation of the Blue Angels, the US Navy jet performance demonstration team, just happened to fly In front of our bow as we motored out to the deep waters of the Great Lake. Less than 300 meters above us, perhaps a kilometer in front of us. The best I can figure, looking at their show schedule, they were flying from one air show location to the next. 

The coincidental timing of the fly by was astounding. Why they were in formation, and so low? Perhaps they decided to give us a “show”.  A minute timing difference one way or the other and we would not have crossed paths so closely, so dramatically. They were as modern day Valkyries. It was truly amazing! We were listening to Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” at the time.

When we reach the memorial location, we launched the Viking boat, setting it afire, said prayers, read poems, read a code of “what it means to be a Viking”, listened to Wagner’s “Siegfried’s Funeral March” Followed by “I Vow to Thee”, as performed at Churchill‘s funeral. 
We followed the recommendation of using two bricks as ballast for the boat. Kindling was placed at the bottom of the the hull.  Larger, 5 cm cubes of hickory fueled the burn. We used the small wood chunks to avoid any dangerous floating debris the larger wood logs could have created. A little bit of lighter fluid helped start the combustion. The ship burned for about half an hour, down to the waterline, and the boat sank out of sight as the water flooded the hull. Thank you for constructing such a “seaworthy” boat.

We played continued with the music on the way back to harbor, including Pink Floyd‘s “Wish You Were Here“ and Bob Marley’s “Three little Birds”.

The coat of arms on the mast has special significance to my bother and me. He had a tattoo of it on his right bicep. 

Thank you for helping us fulfill my brother’s last wishes. All who witnessed and participated in the farewell were moved by this most special ceremony. Even the most seasoned boaters said this tribute was unique and exceptional, just as my brother wanted.



I came across this lovely picture of some welsh basket makers in the 1950s making these huge baskets that were used to transport goods onto ships so they had to be very strong.they were made with tohiti cane rather than willow as the basket base was 36 inches and the sides 40 inches high.i have decided that i am going to have a go at making one ,but in willow ,it will make a great advertising piece ,people will be facinated by the size of the basket



I am recycling some red dogwood from my sons garden and have cut the willow from the stools to weave baskets with ,and will replant the stools i have cut off in our second willow bed we have just put in on our field.Last years new crop of willow is due to be cut soon and will infill the spaces that didnt take last year so will be intresting to see if it takes



I I have found a new passion,dying white willow blue, and mixing the blue and white willow together,it makes a wonderful combination and looks very ‘costal’.

The handles are twisted hazel and they come from a local wood and are collected by an old friend and champion hurdlemaker of dorset ‘ern steele’

This basket has been lined with a lovely blue and white print fabric

white willow anddyed blue willow laundry basket with a twisted hazel wood handle

white willow anddyed blue willow laundry basket with a twisted hazel wood handle



Is dried willow with the bark left on and is olive green in colour.


Is freshly cut during early spring and is left to stand in shallow water until sap rises.it then is stripped (july time) it is then srtipped without boiling to get the white colour


Is boiled and then the bark stripped off,and leaving the willow a buff colour(orangy brown )


Is steamed fo 2 hours,and giving the willow an intense dark brown chocolaty tone