Willow basketry

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Workshop description

Participants will have the opportunity to weave their own hand basket using a variety of specialty locally grown basketry willows.

The basket we will be making is a medium sized (10” wide approx) charming stick handled basket, and is an appropriate project for beginners. There will be ample time for discussion around materials and methods, cultivation, basketry design and more. Some example baskets will be available and weavers will be able to explore weaving patterns that interest them, time permitting.

Participants will be required to bring their own pair of sharp bypass pruners, and sharp carving knife or basketmakers awl. Weaving time is limited, and participants are asked to be punctual and to give due attention and respect for the process.

BYO stick handle if you want, girthy, sturdy, 1’’ thick or thereabouts, preferably dried! Fun curves, straight sticks, gnarly bark on branches, whatever you want your handle to be. Something that feels good in the palm can be nice! 

Awls will be available for purchase, and pruners can be made available by special request

instructor bio

Johnny suderman

Johnny likes sticks. Johnny likes to make things. Johnny likes to make things with sticks. Johnny makes baskets. 

People ask Johnny to teach them how to make baskets. Johnny comes to Skill Share Gathering to show people how to make baskets. 

Really though, making baskets is in all our collective blood! Our ancestors would have used weaving techniques passed by oral tradition to make functional vessels out of plants that grew around them, in order survive, and live in abundance. Basketry and life have been running in parallel, through the ages, for tens of thousands of years. 

So, may it be a joy to reconnect with these ways, and to establish for ourselves a basis, within which we can expand on, share, and explore throughout our lives. 

Over the last four years I’ve been exploring basketry, with my original exposure and teachings being through Julie Gaia, her generosity, and dogwood– a vein in my work that will forever remain dear, and wild. Julies plant spirit connection has seeded in me a humility, curiosity and respect that will be forever a part of who I am, whether I’m weaving with dogwood, or with willow, or any other plant friend.

 I’ve also been given the opportunity to learn and be mentored by a willow weaver here in Southern Ontario, Lene Rasmussen of Lakeshore Willows. It’s been a turn of luck, and a series of improbable events that has allowed me to be with her quite frequently over the course of the last half year, weaving, sorting harvests, grading, and sharing company.  Lene has been very generous with her teachings, with her willow, and in her spirit. It is through her generosity, support, and confidence in me, that I am able to offer this class to you. The specific willows we will be weaving with were grown with love by her, on the shores of Lake Erie, in Southern Ontario.

Through Lene I have been introduced to the willow weaving community here in this part of the world, and have been blessed to be acquainted to some of her teachers, influences, peers, and students. I have learned of stories of the lineages of some of the willows that I will be sharing with you, and this to me is just so dear.  

It’s been my great privilege and honour to have received the teachings that I will pass on to you. The willows themselves have been nurtured and passed on through the generations, and it is our collective privilege to share in this craft through oral tradition, and communal gathering. 

Let us come together, love, and be loved by the willows. 

(If interested in negotiating cost for whatever reason please get in touch.)  

The last day to sign up for this workshop is Thursday May 19/2022

Cost: $250 

Group Size: 10 participants

Contact: [email protected]

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