Jun 26, 2024 - June 30, 2024(9am-5pm)

Willow Basketry Skills Week – All Levels

Taught by: Jes Clark

*Students must clear their project(s) with the instructor at least 2 weeks prior to class* For all you dedicated willow weavers – 5 days of weaving and learning! Students in all levels of weaving will focus on one or two projects of their choosing, within their skill level, and make multiples of those baskets to dial in on detail, form, and the finer points of techniques like border weaving and material selection. Those at the beginning of their willow journey can learn to be comfortable with the process of making baskets on round bases, those more advanced in their journey can explore new techniques/shapes or practice to master a simple basket so you could (almost) make one with your eyes closed. Techniques covered are largely in the European tradition of willow stake and strand weaving and include pairing/reverse paring, waling, different side weaves/randing, and woven borders. We will use an innately colorful selection of willows cultivated at Sanborn Mills and Willow Vale and learn about the cultivation and processing of this historically important natural material. Willow is a stronger more tension-y material than many other basketry materials, strong hands are highly recommended for this course.

Skills and Techniques:

  • An introduction to and further exploration of several weaving techniques/patterns:
    • Pairing/reverse pairing
    • Three-rod wale and four-rod wale
    • A variety of “side weaves” including French randing, English randing, slewing, packing, and zig-zag weave
    • Woven rod borders
  • Learning the “feel” of weaving with willow, a unique material in the US
  • Learning the use of willow weaving specific tools:
    • Bodkin
    • Rapping Iron
    • Fid
    • Shaping ties and hoops
    • Clippers in a willow context
  • Identifying willow in weaving and learning the growth/processing of willow for weaving
  • Creating functional and beautiful 3D shapes


Materials Fee: $100-200 depending on baskets made/material used – collected by instructor at the end of class.

Special Tools or Equipment: Instructor will bring all tools required. Students may bring these tools if they already have: bodkin, high-quality sharp pruners (Felco or similar), rapping iron, fid, conditioning tool (I call it the “Very Important Tool”, a perfect cylinder with no seams, appx 3” in diameter, usually a reusable water bottle/thermos or spray can), 2-4lb weights

Workshop Policies: Please be sure to read our policies before you register for a workshop which can be found here Workshop Policies

Workshop Fee: $625.00

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