Contemporary Willow Shopper


2 day workshop

Workshop Overview

If you think willow baskets are old fashioned, you are wrong. Come and learn how to make a contemporary oval shopper. You can make the base using a traditional oval, or use an oval hoop. The side weaves are very textural and individual, making your shopper quite unique. You will be using willow that we have grown here on the farm and harvested by hand. There will be a strong emphasis on shape and form so that your finished work sits nicely to your side. Once you have laid down the border, you will be adding handles.


Day 1 (Interchangeable)
Time Activity
9:30 Tea and biscuits on arrival, registration and welcome
9:45 Making an oval base
11:00 Morning break with homemade cake of the day
11:15 Completing the oval base
13:00 Lunch
13:45 Staking up, upsetting and side weaving
15:30 Afternoon break with more homemade cake
15:45 More side weaving
17:00 Day one closes.



Day 2 (Interchangeable)
Time Activity
 9:30 Tea and coffee on arrival, registration and welcome.
9:45 More side weaving
 11:00 Morning break with homemade cake of the day.
 11:15 Yet more side weaving
 13:00 Lunch 
 13:45 Laying down the border
 15:30 Afternoon break with more homemade cake.
15:45 Adding handles
 17:00 Workshop finishes with celebratory photograph. 


What You Will Learn

During this workshop, you will:

  • How to make an oval base of your choice
  • Stake up and upset your oval basket
  • Side weaving such as variations of French Randing, English Randing or the Irish Open Weave
  • To lay down a border
  • Add a fabric or leather handles to your contemporary shoppe

What You Will Take Home

At the end of the workshop, you will take home your completed willow shopper.

Important Details

The Rural Skills Centre will provide:

  • All materials and equipment to make your contemporary willow shopper;
  • Tea, coffee and lots of homemade cake;
  • A light lunch (please let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements;
  • Parking; and
  • Accessible facilities


Suitable for Intermediate Icon

This workshop is suitable for those with some experience of basketry. For example, they will have already made a Berry Basket and/or a fruit basket.


The basketmaking element of this workshop is taught by Gill Jones.