Introduction to basketry

Course Dates: 11/10/19 - 13/12/19
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Polly Pollock

Learn exciting techniques used for making baskets around the world. Use a variety of materials, from the traditional to those which give a more contemporary feel to this ancient craft.


What is the course about?

This course will introduce four of the major basketry techniques traditionally used around the world, as well as by contemporary basket makers in the UK, US, Scandinavia and elsewhere.

Basketry is a new world with a multitude of strands to explore and study in its own right. In addition, it has
relevant links to many other art/craft/academic disciplines like textiles, jewellery, sculpture, ethnography
and conservation, to name a few.

For complete beginners the course will provide an introduction to four of the most commonly used the basket making techniques used worldwide : Coiling, Twining, Stake & Strand, and Plaiting.

For students with a little previous experience of some of these techniques, this is a great opportunity to consolidate and develop existing basic skills.

Have a wider appreciation of basketry as a subject and its potential for further exploration and study.

What will we cover?

During the first part of this course emphasis will be on practical sessions providing an introduction, or revision of Coiling, Twining, Stake & Strand and Plaiting. Please note that willow and rush will not be used on this course, but there are courses which explore these materials as part of the 18/19 Basketry programme.

All techniques will be supported by additional information putting the techniques into a wider context in relation to use by traditional and contemporary makers in the UK and the wider world.

The second part of the course will allow students to complete work started and explore one or two the techniques in a little more detail.

Each week the tutor will bring in a varying selection of inspirational material for you to observe and handle: baskets (tutor’s own work, and from around the world), books, slides, postcards, sketchbooks, samples etc.) to illustrate the potential and versatility of each technique in terms of form, function and use of materials.

You will be given book lists, supplier information, and details of museum collections.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Beginners :
Make baskets in each of the following techniques : Coiling, Twining, Stake & Strand, and Plaiting.

Students with a little previous experience - In addition to the above :

Make additional baskets to extend existing knowledge in these areas of basketry, including learning further techniques and working in new materials..

All students :

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?

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 numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be 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 made using this technique. There will also be short slide shows illustrating work by makers working with a variety of materials and a range of scales to put these Basketry techniques into a worldwide context within both Traditional and Contemporary Basketry.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Basic materials and tools are provided.
Small quantities of additional/alternative materials may be available to buy from the Tutor.
Students may like to explore using some of their own materials when appropriate.

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

There will be more Basketry courses during 2017 of varying lengths and which will appeal to a wide range of interests.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details

Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VC170

Fri, day, 11 Oct - 13 Dec '19

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Full fee: £499.00
Senior fee: £399.00
Concession: £304.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.