Introduction to basketry
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: VC170
Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course will introduce four of the major basketry techniques traditionally used around the world.
Basketry is a fascinating craft with a multitude of strands to explore and study in its own right. In addition, it has relevant links to other arts, crafts like textiles, jewellery, sculpture and, academic disciplines such as ethnography, botany and geography.
For complete beginners the course will provide an introduction to the most commonly used basket making techniques used: Twining, Coiling, Stake & Strand and Plaiting.
For students with a little previous experience in some of these techniques, this is a great opportunity to consolidate your existing basic skills and gain a wider appreciation of basketry as a subject.
What will we cover?
The main emphasis of the course will be on practical sessions providing an introduction, or revision of Twining, Coiling, Stake & Strand and Plaiting.
You will work with a range of materials such as willow and rush cane, raffia, jute, sisal wool and other threads and yarns, papers and card.
All techniques are supported by additional information putting the techniques into a wider context in relation to their use by traditional and contemporary makers in the UK and the wider world.
The second part of the course allows students to complete work started and explore one or two the techniques in a little more detail.
The tutor will have a selection of inspirational material for you to observe: baskets, books, images, samples etc.to illustrate the potential and versatility of each technique in terms of form, function and use of materials.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Make basic level baskets with confidence in each of the following techniques; Twining, Coiling, Stake & Strand and Plaiting.
Students with a little previous experience:
-Make intermediate level baskets that build on and extend existing knowledge in these areas of basketry.
-Book recommendations, supplier information, and details of museum collections will also be provided
-Select and prepare suitable materials for working in these techniques.
-Make more informed decisions about which technique/materials to choose when enrolling on one of the other short basketry courses at the City Lit.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for complete Beginners and Intermediate students who want to revise, refresh and build on existing basic skills.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and be able to take part in group discussions. You should be able to use number and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course is taught using a mix of demonstrations together with verbal explanations by the tutor and handouts to support this. You will also have opportunities to observe and handle samples and examples of work. There will be short slide shows illustrating work by makers working with a variety of materials and a range of scales to put techniques into a worldwide context within both Traditional and Contemporary Basketry.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Access to basic materials and resources are available as part of this course. However, small quantities of additional/alternative materials may be required. The Tutor will advise if necessary.
We advise you to bring a notebook/sketchbook for drawing, experimentation and, recording of ideas. You may also wish to visually record your progression on the course with your phone or camera.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IN SOME SESSIONS YOU MAY BE WORKING WITH DYES AND PAINTS SO YOU WILL NEED TO BRING AN APRON/WEAR OLD CLOTHES AND SHOES. YOU WILL BE ADVISED IN ADVANCE.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit has a selection of Basketry and Contemporary Craft courses for beginners to advanced learners and professional practitioners where, you can further develop your skills. Please browse the website to view our upcoming courses.
John was introduced to basketry by a Crafts Council exhibition in 1999, where he was impressed enough to undertake a four-year City & Guilds course in creative basketry at the City Lit. This has transmogrified into the two-year VA190 course John now runs and teaches on. John's specialty is rushwork but he is comfortable with other materials and techniques and encourages experimental work following sound and basic groundwork. John believes that craft work is an essential human occupation. When not teaching basketry John repairs harps.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.