calling stringmakers

I will be teaching a two day string and basket making workshop in Northumberland at the end of June.

The workshop will cover harvesting and preparation of materials; different string making techniques; making a structure with a random weave; introduction to the ancient art of looping.

Materials will be provided, working mainly with rush, but participants are welcome to bring their own plants to use as well. It will be suitable for beginners as well as more experienced basketmakers. If you have ever picked up a piece of string and been curious about how or what it’s made of… come along and enjoy exploring!

Contact me for details and more information. Here’s a little taster of the sort of things we could be making.

 

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more looping

These are both made from nasturtium stems, collected at the end of summer, dried and  combed before use.

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going loopy

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photo credit: Emma George

The blog has been quiet for a while, but I have been busy.

I’ve been captivated by looping, an ancient technique found all over the world.

Here’s a little taste. More to follow

baskets on display

The Jubilee Hall in Rothbury is hosting the exhibition this weekend.

I have several baskets, as well as string samples on display, and one for sale

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haircap moss, split bramble cane, hemp string

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NBG display in Rothbury

Northumbria Basketry bring the display to Rothbury this weekend. I will be there helping out on Sunday and Monday so do call in to say hello.

I am delighted to report that I submitted two small baskets for sale at the previous venue, and both of them sold. So I am busily making more to include this weekend… pictures to follow!

northumbria basketry group

The NBG has been going for 10 years, and I have been invited to contribute to the anniversary celebration. I was involved at the very beginning, when Liz Balfour came and inspired us all and ran a course at Rothbury. Since then I have discovered string and soft materials, and the items I am preparing for display involve mainly these materials and techniques.

Here’s a taste, made of haircap moss, Polytrichum commune

The exhibition starts at the Dales Centre in County Durham, then travels to Rothbury, Beamish, Horsley and Berwick.

More details here http://www.northumbriabasketrygroup.co.uk/gallery.php?id=289

rushes are round

Grass, rushes, reeds, sedges… what’s the difference? A traditional rhyme can help distinguish and identify:

“Sedges have edges,

Rushes are round,

Grasses have knees that bend down to the ground”

After Kindrogan, Tim Johnson came to Northumberland on his way south and had a couple of days with the Northumbria Basketry Group. His account of the workshop is here: http://www.timjohnsonartist.com/blog/exploring-twined-structures-with-the-northumbrian-basketmake.html

These examples used mainly rush, with other assorted local materials.

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rush tool pouch
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rush working tools
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rush bag (graciously modelled by Black Cat)