An introduction to basketmaking – Berry Basket


Workshop Overview

Here on the farm and down in our willow beds, there has been great excitement with the BBC programme ‘Make it to Market’ as it has highlighted the skill of basketmaking. If you are looking to learn the skills of a basketmaker, the Berry Basket is a perfect place to start.

You will use our home grown willow to make a beautiful Berry Basket that will have many uses besides that of hedgerow harvesting.

Gill Jones will guide you through the basketmaking element of the day. She will introduce you to ‘stake and strand’ basketry and discuss the uses of the varying tools used by basketmakers. She will also explain how willow is prepared from harvesting, through to soaking and mellowing. Gill is passionate about sharing this heritage craft.

Round Berry Basket


Round Berry Basket
Time Activity
09:30 Tea and biscuits on arrival, registration and welcome
10:00 Safe use of tools, creating the slath and pairing the base
11:15 Tea and cake
11:45 Staking up the base and upsett
13.:00 Lunch
13:45 Weaving the sides and shaping the basket
15:30 Creating a track border and inserting a pegged handle
17:00 Workshop finishes
Round Berry Basket

What You Will Learn

Round Berry Basket Slide 2

During this workshop, you will:

  • Learn how to handle willow safely;
  • Use basketry tools safely and correctly;
  • Discuss the way in which willow is prepared correctly for basketmaking;
  • Create a slath and weave a base;
  • Learn how to ‘join rods’
  • Insert side stakes and upsett them;
  • Use waling as a weaving technique;
  • Build the side of your basket, creating shape/form;
  • Complete a simple trac border and insert a pegged handle; and
  • Discuss the care of your Berry Basket so that it provides many years of use.

What You Will Take Home

Round Berry Basket
Round Berry Basket
Round Berry Basket
Round Berry Basket
  • Round Berry Basket
  • Round Berry Basket
  • Round Berry Basket

At the end of this workshop, you will take home your own handmade willow Berry Basket, as well as developing your skills as a basketmaker.

Important Details

The Rural Skills Centre will provide:

  • All materials and ingredients to make your willow Berry Basket will be provided;
  • Tea/Coffee and lots of cake;
  • Light Lunch (let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements);
  • Parking; and
  • Accessible facilities.
  • Round Berry Basket Product
  • Round Berry Basket
  • Round Berry Basket


Suitable for Beginners Icon

This workshop is suitable for complete beginners and those who would like to make a Berry Basket.


This workshop is taught by Gill Jones.