Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: VC174
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
This is an introduction to the making of rush baskets. Rush is one of the traditional materials used for basketry in the UK. It is soft, and therefore easier to work with than willow or cane. You will be shown enough techniques for you to transform rush and similar materials into simple, traditional baskets. You will develop practical skills in working with rush and, if you would like, other materials, and have the opportunity to further explore the properties of rush.
What will we cover?
The course will allow each student to complete a small number of rush baskets and be introduced to techniques such as plaiting, twining, making simple borders, as well as handles and lids. The techniques covered are transferable to other basketry materials. You will also be directed to relevant collections, libraries and publications to support your understanding of processes and potential outcomes in Basketry.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Appreciate some of the properties and possible uses of rush
- Use techniques of plaiting and twining, and produce simple borders
- Produce a number of rush baskets.
More experienced students:
- Refresh and extend your skills
- Work on independently directed rush projects
- Demonstrate use of experimental approaches to rush basketry.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
As with any other craft, basketry demands some manual dexterity in your hands.
It is suitable for beginners as well as those with experience wishing to refresh or expand their skills.
Beginners will start by learning to make a number of simple baskets using plaiting and twining techniques, with thread-away or trac borders. Handles and lids will also be looked at.
People with experience will be given the chance to refresh their knowledge, work on their own projects and, if wanted, try out more experimental work, perhaps using Rush with other materials.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs, recieve health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. 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?
By demonstrations, practical work, hand outs, looking at sample baskets and fellow students' work. Individual and group tuition. You will be encouraged to continue at home during the week as it will support your progress.
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. Please bring a book for note-taking. If you have one, a camera might be useful for recording progress, samples & other students’ work.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers a range of short courses in Basketry and other contemporary crafts for beginners, advanced learners and professional practitioners. Please browse the website for 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.