Introduction to Making a Traditional Hen Basket


Workshop Overview

For my City and Guilds basketry course in 2019, I began looking at the hen basket for my traditional piece. I fell in love with the history surrounding it , extending from medieval times through to the current day. It has been referred to as a hoisting basket, an ose basket, a hen basket, a gathering basket, a Bardot basket and even a Skye basket. In school, it was my cookery basket!

This introduction to making a hen basket workshop will take you through the process of making the framework and weaving the basket itself. It is a beautiful basket and a wonderful skill to learn.



Time Activity
9:30 Registration, Tea and homemade shortbread or Welsh cakes on arrival.
9:45 Discuss the hoop making process and establishing the initial frame, including primary and secondary ribs.
11:00 Morning break with homemade cake of the day.
11:15 Insert tertiary ribs. Learn the technique of packing to balance the overall shape of the hen basket.
13:00  Lunch
13:45 Continue working on the side weaving.
15:30 Afternoon break with more homemade cake.
17:00 Pick off and finish the hen basket
17:30 Workshop finishes with celebratory group photograph.


What You Will Learn

Gill Jones Basket Slide

During this workshop, you will learn

  • The historical significance of the hen basket and its uses as an agricultural basket;
  • Creating hoops for the framework of the hen basket;
  • Joining the hoops;
  • Inserting primary, secondary and tertiary ribs;
  • Weaving (randing) in framework baskets;
  • Packing to establish even progress; and
  • Picking off/finishing your hen basket.

What You Will Take Home

At the end of the workshop, you will take home your completed Hen Basket and you can choose whether it will be used for a broody hen or as a funky shopper.

Important Details

The Rural Skills Centre will provide:

  • All materials and equipment to make your Hen Basket;
  • 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 Beginners Icon

The Hen Basket Workshop is suitable for complete beginners as well as those wishing to develop their skills in framework techniques.


This workshop is taught by Gill from Rural Skills Centre