I hope students have fun while learning techniques and gaining knowledge of the materials they are using, insight into the breadth of the craft and an enjoyable social experience. Those are the things I aim for.

I have always taught although I never planned to! I started in a Primary school as soon as I left school myself, and after my degree in Oxford went to the USA on a Fulbright Scholarship where I was plunged into teaching undergraduates from the moment of arrival.

I found I enjoyed both, somewhat to my surprise, and the students responded well so it was all very positive experience. After basketmaking entered my life, I taught for the City and Guilds course in London, as I still do, and in local Adult Education in East Kent.

Later I taught in Art Colleges, particularly Norwich School of Art and Design and at Manchester Metropolitan University, where I had a Research Fellowship in Basketmaking.

Now I am linked to the Anthropology Department at the University of Kent, where I show Ethnobotany students how to use plant materials for weaving and cordage.

I enjoy the teaching process and meeting such a variety of interesting people in this way.
Students on my courses will be able to take home completed objects, each with personal design features, functional and with charm. They will have enjoyed the days, I hope, and gained a wider picture of basketmaking from the books, conversation and the examples around them. It is very ‘hands on’, a good way to gain experience. I enjoy it a lot.

My courses are listed on the Basketmakers’ Association website, www.basketassoc.org, and I teach regularly in three places where it is excellent to both work and teach.

The City Lit,
www.citylit.ac.uk, is in the heart of Covent Garden.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden
www.botanic.cam.ac.uk is in a beautiful setting.

West Dean College, www.westdean.ac.uk  has excellent facilities in an amazing house.
I also teach occasional two day courses in Kent, so please email for details.



Exploring creativity, each student with a minimum of materials from me, no personal choices but some rules for the work! Something I try at the City Lit and elsewhere. Stretching but with unexpected outcomes.

My teaching for 2016


Chair Seating with Cane or Rush

4 - 5th June 2016



Come and work in a peaceful and beautiful part of Suffolk and enjoy good food and company while working hard. Full details about costs and booking are on the Assington Mill website.

You will be able to increase your knowledge of cane or rush seating and is suitable for beginners or those who wish to improve. You can choose which material you use by bringing an appropriate chair. In general caning needs a chair with holes spaced near the inner edge of the wooden seat frame. Rush needs a frame that has raised corners but no drilled holes in the seat frame. Rush seats on stools are very usual and useful at home.

Beginners may complete one small rush seated dining chair or make good progress towards completion of a caned bedroom chair. In either case you will reach a stage where you can complete the seat at home if necessary. Rectangular, square or trapezium-shaped seats are the best shape to learn on if you can find a suitable chair. Anything with curves is a bit more complicated. Those with experience can bring a chair they need help with.

It is essential to bring your own chair. Cane and rushes are provided for the course. Chairs may also be seated with Danish cord, or Seagrass provided you inform the tutor at least two weeks in advance.

If in doubt do please email Anne Holden.

Assington Mill

The City Lit, London


Contemporary Willow Basketmaking

6, 13, and 20th February 2016

Three Saturdays 10.30 – 5.00pm


This course is for those at all levels of experience, to come and make willow baskets in a lively college with a fine reputation and which offers a wealth of subjects. Those who have come before can build on their skills and learn some new weaves or methods of work. Beginners will make small round baskets or other less traditional items to give them confidence and practice.

City Lit
Keeley Street
Covent Garden
London WC2B 4BA

020 7492 2600 switchboard
020 7831 7831 enrolments

Stroud International Textile Festival Stroud, Gloucester  

30 April – 22 May 2016

This month of Textile Festival events takes place in Stroud, in the Museum, at Country Houses in the locality, and in other spaces all over the town. Thre is always a huge list of things to do and see, talks to go to, open house, exhibtions, walks and more. It is a great event, administered by Lizzi Walton, and all credit to her and her helpers.

Opening 29 April in the afternoon when I shall say a small ‘something’ at the Museum and cut the ribbon or whatever happens when the month is beginning its’ roll.

Contemporary Willow Basketmaking
30 April – 1 May 2016

Anyone is welcome. Beginners will make round baskets to learn useful skills essential to many baskets. Experienced folk will work to their own level of ability to complete objects of their choice in discussion with me. I would prefer to hear from these basketmakers in advance if they wish to learn particular skills. I will need to bring suitable willow for your project.

Office Hours:
Monday, Wednesday Friday 10 am - 3 pm
closed lunch

Tel: +44 (0)1453 751056
Mob: 07767763607

email : info@sitselect.org

Scottish Basket Circle Class

My West Dean Basketry Courses 2016



West Dean College
West Dean
Near Chichester
West Sussex PO10 OQZ

Tel : 01243 818300


Materials are supplied for each course and are costed into the fees. I will bring a set of tools that can be borrowed but the College will supply you with a list of useful things. Bring any of these you already have but you can use mine during the weekend. Enjoy the craft and fall in love with willow before you buy your tool set! Willow is a wonderful and addictive material!

Willow Basketmaking for Beginners

11 – 13 March 2016


Learn and master basic weaves for making willow baskets. Gain practical experiences of all processes and the nature of the material as you make two simple, functional round baskets.

Some folk work much faster than others so bring a ‘spare’ chair in the hopes you will get to it.

The Sustainable Container – Baskets from Willow

21 - 24 April 2016


Make baskets for everyday life from sustainable willow. You will complete two or three projects of your choice form shopping or laundry baskets, to storage boxes and letter racks, depending on your experience. Learn about willow growing, harvesting and preparation along the way.

Learn about willow harvesting, construction and weaving techniques as well as handling the material.

Me teaching at West Dean, taken by Tom Kealy, maker of beautiful furniture and weaver of fine white willow seats

Me teaching at West Dean, taken by Tom Kealy, maker of beautiful furniture & weaver of fine white willow seats

Chair seating in cane, rush, willow or cords

27 – 30 June 2016

Willow Basketmaking – influences from Eastern Europe

2 – 5 September 2016

A Willow Taster Day

6 September 2016

The chance to try some willow work, making small dishes and baskets to get a sense of the craft.


Summer Schools 2016


The Dutch Summer School Wilhelminaoord, Netherlands

18 – 22 July 2016

This takes place in a residential school usually used for young people to come out into the country for experience of craft activities, cooking over a fire, living in Viking houses and all sorts of other things. It is a great place. There are five tutors, with Jose Schilder, Dieter Deringer, Esme Hofman and Marijke Epen as well as myself. Marika is the expert on tablet weaving with many books to her name, Esme is the Skeined willow master, and the rest of us have specialist styles of willow work. I always enjoy the atmosphere so much as well as the teaching.

Contact Ien Rappoldt

email : Ien@wilhelminaoord.com

email : Ien.rappoldt@denhaag.nl


Oxford Summer School
25 – 30 July 2016


Willow Basketmaking
25- 27 July 2016

Held in a school, out of term, and buzzing with so many different art and craft classes and with a very stimulating air about it. A great week, non residential, with all sorts of suppliers coming and going, an exhibition of Tutors work for sale, and music to listen to at lunchtime or the end of the day. It is exciting, too, to see what is happening in other classes.

Contact Liz on

email : oxfordsummerschool@talktalk.net