March and April 2020


27/28/29 March 2020

£180, including basic materials and refreshments

CAST, 3 Penrose Road, Helston, Cornwall TR13 8TP

Lois Walpole will be bringing her recycling and basketmaking expertise to West Cornwall where she will be leading this 3 day exploratory workshop.

She will be guiding you through the entire process of developing utilitarian and/or sculptural forms and structures from found materials gleaned from local coves and beaches.

The course will include

  • a preliminary beachcombing session and visit to a beachcombers yard
  • an inspirational introductory talk
  • examination, selection and preparation of materials
  • experimenting with a variety of basketmaking techniques
  • development of individual projects

Lois trained in sculpture, basket making and product design. She is a designer and maker of baskets, furniture and art works. Her work combines the techniques and often the forms of basketry with the detritus of consumerism and the natural materials of her immediate environment.

Her most recent touring exhibition is titled ‘Weaving Ghosts’, and is based around materials found on Shetland beaches.

ACCOMMODATION, contact Geraldine if you’d like to discuss options.

For further information or questions tel.01736 762055/ 07773124241

Booking form Buoy Baskets

Azorean basketry with Aida Bairos


25/26 April 2020

Hope Cove, Devon (venue to be confirmed very soon)

Price £175

Course cost includes materials and refreshments. You may bring a packed lunch or book one with Sue Morgan or lunch at one of several local options.

B&B accommodation is available at the special rate of £30 per night per person through Sue Morgan. Please contact her direct to discuss options:

Please note that this course is not suitable for beginners. You need to be a reasonably proficient maker as the tutor will not be teaching the basics but concentrating on the specific differences found in Azorean baskets. If you’d like to discuss this in advance of booking please contact

Aida Bairos is an experienced basketmaker who works in the Azorean style. This basket which would have been used to carry lunch to the fields is a good example that will allow you to add those special techniques to your repertoire. Helena Martelo, who works in the Azorean museum sector, will help Aida with translation. Aida is from Santa Maria island and Helena from Terceira. Together they have been working on an inter-island project they have named Organic Flow.

Booking form Azorean baskets.


Following this course Aida and Helena will be collaborating for four days with Hilary Burns, Geraldine Jones and Sue Morgan to develop and expand ideas they have been exploring through Organic Flow. Basketmakers are welcome to join us subject to agreement. Cost for this will be £10 per day. The workshop will take place near Paignton at TQ4 7PE. Places will be limited. Please contact if you would like to discuss this or book a place.

Previous courses

‘I just wanted to say again thank you both for organising such a lovely course.
I am thrilled to bits with my finished basket and look forward to meeting you both on
another course in the not too distant future – please keep me on your mailing lists.
It has been an unforgettable few days’.


10th-17th November 2018

A masterclass for 5 students, 5 day course

This short but intensive 5 day course will provide a practical understanding of all aspects of weaving with chestnut, to include

  • selecting and cutting chestnut sticks from the forest
  • preparing them for splitting over an open fire
  • using a shave horse to make and smooth the flat strips for weaving
  • weaving the basket and finishing with a traditional border

7 nights accommodation, daily breakfasts and lunchtime meals will be provided in a large house near the seaside town of Cedeira in Northern Galicia, Spain for the over-all price per person of £480 for the week.

Travel costs are not included but we are able to offer advice and some help with collection from certain airports/railway stations. There may also be enough room for 2 paying passengers in a car on the ferry crossing from Plymouth to Spain.

The accommodation, which is self-catering, may be rented for a further week if you’d like to stay on and explore the region. The major cities of A Coruna, Lugo and Santiago de Compostella are all less than a 2 hour drive away, whilst on the doorstep and within walking distance are sandy beaches, paths through forests leading down to the sea, clifftop walks and the old and new town centres of Cedeira.

See  ‘Basketmaking in the north west of Galicia’ for a You Tube video of our tutor, Innocencio, and 3 other makers at work



May 18th-25th 2019

For this second exploration of the Azores Islands, Basketry and Beyond are venturing further, offering a holiday experience on the lesser known island of TERCEIRA, with accommodation provided in the Unesco World Heritage city centre of Angra do Heroismo (bay of heroes)

The trip will include a 3 day basketry course, taught by an Azorean basketmaker, plus accommodation for 7 nights in the city centre, (18th-25th), with limited options to begin your visit up to a week earlier. We are keeping the costs of the trip to a minimum so that people can plan their own agendas according to their budgets.

The price for the course and accommodation will be £600.

Accommodation is self-catering, allowing a choice between contributing to a kitty and cooking shared meals or making your own eating arrangements. Free light lunches will be provided on the 3 course days.

It is possible hike to out of the way locations – volcanic caverns, miradouros, dramatic rocky landscapes and secluded beaches, there is public transport – a bus follows a route around the island. If there is sufficient interest we can hire a car between us, sharing costs. Boat trips, whale watching tours, swimming with dolphins or visiting a local traditional pottery are an optional extras. The best time for sighting whales being between April and June.

Angra do Heroismo offers tranquil exotic gardens,  a wonderful museum, a wealth of churches, the market, the seafront and the fortress, numerous cafes and restaurants, all within easy walking distance of the accommodation.

You will be responsible for your own fares and travel arrangements but we will be happy to discuss travel options to help you get there ….

For images of the last Basketry and Beyond course on the Azores, in Sao Miguel

for images of our review trip to Terceira follow this link


Since the time of the Greek Hesiod, in the 18th century BC, whose literature promoted a mythology linked to the existence of hidden places and fantastic islands (..) In these faraway places, at the limits of knowledge, stood an earthly paradise only accessible to the ‘blessed’, reserved by Jupiter for the righteous; located somewhere in the ocean, beyond the Hesperides (..) Also, the Celtic mythology contains a vast repertoire of legends concerning the navigations occurred in enchanted and ‘fortunate’ islands situated in the depths of the ‘Ocean sea’, this is, the then unknown Atlantic ..

Rui Carita. ‘O descobrimento dos Acores’. In Historia dos Acores. Do descobrimento ao secula XX.



Culture and craft in south Cyprus:  12th to 19th May 2018

Following our tour to the Azores in May 2017, Basketry and Beyond is planning another island adventure – this time in Cyprus.


This is a chance to explore the Greek (south) side of the island with us. It will focus on the use of natural materials:  how they have been used in the past, to provide items of basketry, mats and brooms, all essential to a self-sufficient life.  Also, to look at how this making relied on and was connected to the landscape. These crafts are still practiced in some of the less built-up, rural areas and there will be an opportunity for some hands-on making with local craftspeople.

Cyprus, due to its location and geology, has low rainfall and is extremely dry. The natural flora is mainly reed and rush on saltmarsh near to the coast and mountainous scrub and small trees inland with forest in the more mountainous areas. Expect to see basketry associated with agriculture; harvesting, planting, storage and food preparations from crops of olives and grapes, the making of bread, transport by donkeys, seating of rustic chairs and sleeping and eating mats. The island has an ancient and many-layered history with temples, frescoed monastaries, crusader castles and walled cities to be seen.

The tour will include several workshops with experienced local makers in different places, in which you will get the chance to try out the techniques and materials. These are arranged to suit the level of experience and ability of the participants. You may want to watch a demonstration, have a go yourself at preparation of the materials, or complete a project, all are possibilities.

The tour is a two-centre stay and flights should be booked to and from Paphos airport. The first half of the trip will be based in a village in the lovely Akamas region north of Pahphos. Accommodation is in a traditional restored village-house.  It belongs to a centre that promotes walking and nature tours.  The area is known for its fertility, and the one place that we have seen willow growing, as there is permanent water. Walnuts, almonds and fruit trees grow well here.  From this base we will visit local museums and basketmakers. On the transfer day (Wednesday) we will visit the Akrotiri peninsula, the salt marshes, where, in May some of the endemic species of flora will be flowering. The environmental centre there has been built by the British airbase for local people who still use the rushes and reeds.

We transfer to the Cookery School at Paramythas for the last three nights.  We will visit Nicosia, to see the national craft centre and try out weaving a reed sleeping mat on an unusual floor loom. Many other traditional crafts take place here, in workshops open to the public.

Later that day there will be the chance to cross over the border into the Turkish side of the city, on foot, to explore.

Local artist Alexandra Pambouka, from Nicosia, will be our interpreter.

Accommodation and food: Single or twin rooms are provided depending on the venues. Breakfast and, on the days when we are visiting basketmakers to work with them, a simple packed lunches (bread, cheese, fruit etc) will be provided. Kitchen facilities at both venues are available. Some fresh food and a well-stocked store of basic groceries will be provided by us on arrival. The intention is that we will share cooking and the making of easy meals in the evenings and/or visit local tavernas within walking distance to eat out (restaurant food not included). You will be able to supplement the basics with foodstuffs from the local markets and shops if you are keen for other than simple meals.

The cost of the tour is £850. This includes workshop fees, accommodation (single or twin rooms depending on location), transport around the island and transport to and from Paphos airport to connect with specified flights.

Airfares are NOT included and you are responsible for your own flight booking. You need to have travel insurance in place. We will need to see documentation for this


Pigeon Basket Course

A two-day course to make a small double-tiered pigeon basket, a replica of one held in the Imperial War Museum archive at Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Baskets of this type were used in World War One. This course is suitable for those with some basketry experience.

Date: Friday 22nd/Saturday 23rd September 2017 10am – 5pm

Venue: Willow and Wetland Centre, Stoke St Gregory, Somerset TA3 6HY

Tutors: Jonathan Coate and Hilary Burns

Cost: £160.00 Includes all materials, light lunch and refreshments

Image © IWM (FEQ 813)

Camper vans or caravans may be parked in the car park, bathroom facilities available. For other accommodation options please contact

To book please complete the booking form on the Basketry and Beyond website. Booking_Form_Pigeon_Basket

Enquiries to or telephone 01803 553144

On Saturday there will be a display about the work of the Basketry Then and Now World War One project in the museum at Coates English Willow, with a focus on baskets used for the military effort and a short talk. The Basketry Then and Now project is being run from the Everyday Lives in War Centre at Hertfordshire University.

To see the project blog, video and newsletters visit:

Basketry and Beyond Azores cultural visit to Sao Miguel, Azores, May, 2017

Hilary Burns and Geraldine Jones co-ordinated this visit, drawing on experiences gained when they developed a Land Art Project on Sao Miguel four years ago. They organised transport around the island, alongside the three day basketmaking course with Aida Bairos an Azorean basketmaker.

In the workshop

A stage in making the joeira

Visiting Senor Gilberto’s display in the local market

Volcanic activity at Furnas Lake, stew cooking in the ground














Wednesday 5th, Thursday 6th & Friday 7th July 2017

Tutor: Hilary Burns

This course is being run by The Old Kennels. Book here.

Hilary Maund - Bicycle basket

Make a traditional North Devon Maund basket in buff willow with hazel feet approx. 18” long. The word ‘maund’ appears in documents dating from the 1500s and was an agricultural basket usually round or oval with two side handles or finger holes, some were made to an exact specification and used as a measure (bushel baskets). This one, used in the pannier markets of North Devon is different, it begins as an oval that turns into an oblong, with a lid designed to form a shelf when open, on which produce such as butter and eggs would be displayed by farmer’s wiv

This versatile basket involves the making of an underfoot base, handles, feet, latches, square borderwork and a lid. It is suitable for those already familiar with the basics of English basketry techniques, who wish to improve their basket making skills.

£225 (plus materials approximately £20)

BUILD YOUR OWN SHAVE HORSEPeter Lanyon shave horse

Tutor: Peter Lanyon
Date: 1 October 2016
Time: 9.30a.m- 5.00 p.m
Venue: Marazion Church Hall, Cornwall
Price: £115, including all materials and greenwood for practice session

This is an opportunity for basket makers who would like to own their own shave horse. Basketry and Beyond has invited Peter Lanyon to Cornwall to lead a one day course during which you will be able to make your own horse and have a go at using it.

He will be bringing pre-drilled materials and there will be a certain amount of sawing and hand drilling to complete the horse. Once assembled there will be a practical session to experiment with greenwood splitting, shaving and making splints for basketmaking.

Build a Shave Horse

This shave horse is a hybrid, combining the best features of Mike Abbott’s lumber horse with the ingenious folding horse developed by Masashi Kutsuwa. Peter has added a few of his own touches to make this extremely versatile and portable horse. It can be set up and folded away in a matter of seconds, is fully adjustable, suits all leg lengths and tucks comfortably under one arm. It can be hung on the wall, taking virtually no room in your shed or workshop. A very useful and convenient tool.

Tuition will be given on basic woodworking techniques, including measuring, marking out accurately and cutting to a line. If there is time you can carve your seat for added comfort.



Tutor; Lee Dalby
Venue; Marazion, Cornwall
Dates; 23rd, 24th and 25th April 2016
Accommodation available nearby from around £30 per person per night or willow field camping/camper vans, no hook-up, £5 p.p.
This 3 day course is a Masterclass for makers who already have some experience of weaving with willow and who would like to improve their skills.
Lee’s teaching reflects his consideration that the key to making a satisfactory basket is in understanding the importance of a well-made and well-designed frame, fit for purpose. Once the frame making has been mastered, many variations in size, form and alternative materials are possible.
It is not unusual to spend much of the first day preparing the frame.
The basket will be made with brown willow and will be similar to the Breton gypsy baskets that first attracted Lee to the craft of basketry.

Heather Dawe on one of Lee's courses

Heather Dawe on one of Lee’s courses


Heather Dawe attended Lee’s frame basketry course in Scotland and commented….

‘I would say he was an excellent teacher, he makes basket making fun and exciting and the results are superb’

Lee Dalby began his basketmkaing in 1986 as an apprentice to basketmaker John Galloway. IN 1987 a chance meeting with Jean Paul Verombier and the Menouche family in Brittany led to a lifetime dedicated to frame basketry and connected weavings, not only for container basketry but also for site specific experimental architecture and functional sculptural forms within the public landscape, galleries and private spaces. See the website for his major works and achievements.


Two frame baskets made by Lee's students

Two frame baskets made by Lee’s students






Basketry and Beyond South West Heritage Course

This was part of Basketry & Beyond’s programme of events supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. These courses aimed to encourage, preserve and pass on the skills of the craft of basketmaking.

Traditional crafts that were practiced in the South West countryside served the needs of agriculture, fishing and related industries and resulted in basketry skills, baskets and products unique to the South West of England.



Refine your basketmaking skills with Ian Strugnell

Ian Strugnell shopping Basket. Image copyright Ian Strugnell.


Ian has been making baskets and growing and preparing his materials (including stripping, buffing and steaming his own willow) for over twenty years and is a member of the Devon Guild where his work can be seen their Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey.


This course aimed to improve existing basketry skills for practitioners. The Fowl Crate (bird basket) is a travelling basket that was used for transporting small numbers of poultry. There is an example of this basket at the Museum of English Rural Life, part of their extensive collection of baskets. The basket was commissioned by the British Council from Blackwell’s of Barnstaple for a travelling exhibition of British rural crafts that toured Australia and New Zealand in 1946.
Made of buff willow and oval in shape the basket has two half-covers, one opening, one fixed and handles at each end. Techniques include an underfoot base, slewing and openwork on the sides, scalloming and fitching in the lid. All the different weaves and details make this an interesting basket to learn to construct.

Fowl Crate (bird basket) with Hilary Burns

Fowl Crate

Fowl crate. Images copyright University of Reading – Museum of English Rural Life. MERL 60/44

The Fowl Crate (bird basket) is a traveling basket that was used for transporting small numbers of poultry. There is an example of this basket at the Museum of English Rural Life, part of their extensive collection of baskets. The basket was commissioned by the British Council from Blackwell’s of Barnstaple for a travelling exhibition of British rural crafts that toured Australia and New Zealand in 1946.

Made of buff willow and oval in shape the basket has two half-covers, one opening, one fixed and handles at each end. Techniques include an underfoot base, slewing and openwork on the sides, scalloming and fitching in the lid. All the different weaves and details make this an interesting basket to learn to construct.

Hilary makes both functional baskets and sculptural pieces and studies and uses traditional techniques in her basketmaking. She finds these endlessly intriguing and an inspiration in her work. Hilary is a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and a Yeoman member of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers.

Gypsy Hedgerow basket with Geraldine Jones and Hilary Burns

The original basket made by Tom Aldridge


Removing bramble thorns

This was a rare opportunity to learn how to make a gypsy hedgerow basket from split bramble stems and cleaved willow. It has a base construction not usually seen in Britain, very similar to baskets made in northern Spain.
Geraldine Jones made her first basket with Tom Aldridge who came from a gypsy family. He travelled around the South West in the early 1900’s and spent the later years of his life living on Rosudgeon Common near Penzance in Cornwall.

This basket was one he made from materials gathered from the local Cornish lanes