I have been looking to join a craft and making group here in Bath and have found it difficult finding something that suited me in terms of time and cost, and fitted my experience. So I figured I would put a few feelers out in the aim to start a little creative group myself.
Unfortunately, the response was minimal, with only one person located in Bath. Nonetheless, despite my initial disappointment, I arranged to meet with Su, who happened to live on my road (!) and we decided a date to get together for a creative day.
On Friday 10th June, I went round to Su’s lovely home and we got situated at her garden table, ready for a day of wicker basket making and weaving – something I had never done before and was excited to try my hand at.
Su had kindly soaked the willow prior to my arrival and so we were ready to get started straight away. Choosing the initial shape and size of the pre-bent willow rings allowed me to imagine what I wanted my basket to look like in terms of its form and structure. Without knowing the technical terms, I had what is called a ‘buttocks basket’ in mind – I wanted my basket to sit flat on a surface as I knew I wanted it on display in my house.
Next I was shown how to make the ‘God’s eye’ which connects the handle to the upper lip of the basket. We used cane for this element as it is much easier to work with for the intricate nature of the God’s eye and for first time weavers, like myself.
Once that was complete, I began choosing which willow I wanted to work with and was shown the process of weaving. In, out, in and out..I was surprised by how quickly the basket took shape and soon began playing with the different willow Su had provided for colour variations, texture and pattern.
After a delicious lunch, prepared by Su and her husband, I managed to finish my basket with great determination, despite the sore thumbs!
I am so happy with what I created and left for home at half 5, having completely lost track of time, feeling proud of my work and warmed by the company of the day.
Now it is my turn to plan a day of making for Su, and I hope to invite some other lovely ladies too.
Good food, chat and creating, what more could a girl ask for!