Willow Basketry - Beginners Guide
6 lessons, 56 min
This beginners guide is a great starting point for those of you who are entirely new to willow basketry, though people with some experience may find it quite helpful as well. In it, I will teach you about the basic tools you’ll need, the basic equipment, and everything you need to know about the preparation of the willow, from grading and sorting it properly to soaking it.
These are the basic tools you'll need for classic willow basket making. Most of them are quite easy to find, and the ones that are not, can be easily replaced by other tools. I start the list from most important tools, and finish with the least important ones. Also, I talk about different types of the same tool, the advantages of each type, and other items I have in my tool basket.
The importance of this stage in willow basket making cannot be emphasized enough. Taking the time to do a proper sorting will dramatically improve your craft. Different people may sort their willows in different ways, and to a different number of groups. Here I share my own personal method.
How to choose the right willow rods for your next basket? And how many rods do you need? This seemingly simple stage in the making of willow baskets can, in fact, be quite complicated and confusing, and require a great deal of experience. Here I explain the general guidelines for choosing willow for a basket, and, more importantly, explain the reasoning behind this process.
Continuing the previous lesson - this time we will choose willow rods for a specific project together (the beginner's course). This demonstrates my personal process up close, and makes it more tangible and understandable than a purely theoretical lesson.
Soaking and preparing your willow properly can make all the difference in the making of a basket. Under-soaking will obviously leave the willow stiff and easily breaking, while over-soaking might make it slimy, swollen, and easily breaking as well. Find out the general guide lines and rules of thumb for soaking and preparing different types of willow.