The basketry project: investigate, explore, make
Time: 10:00 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
Course Code: VC205
Duration: 9 sessions (over 12 weeks)
What is the course about?
This basketry course is about learning new skills and/or developing, building on and exploring more deeply into
existing practical basketry processes and techniques. With a different focus each year, this course is open to new
and returning students.
There is a strong experimental element to this course, so come prepared to explore, play, and maybe even take a
few risks, but hopefully leave having had a fun experience together with making some interesting work using basketry
techniques - this could be a finished basketry piece, or a collection resolved samples.
Please take note on the dates for this nine week course.
March 15th, 22nd & 29
May 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st.
What will we cover?
This year the main focus will be on working with softer, flexible materials; Coiling, Random Weave and Wrapping.
Coiling is a stitched basketry technique that although dates back 1000s of years; it is still widely used by makers
Random Weave is a very simple to work using varied materials to create interesting forms and containers. It is a
relatively new approach to making basketry, with roots in Japanese Ikebana basketry and it has become increasingly popular. Wrapping is as its name suggests.
During this course you will investigate and experiment with different ways of approaching these techniques through
group and individual project work based around a linked theme.
The project will be developed through visual research and keeping a sketchbook to discover your own ideas and
You will learn what can be achieved with just a few essential techniques that offer plenty of potential to explore form
scale, colour, pattern,and texture. The final weeks of the course will provide you with the opportunity to make a
finished piece of work or a collection of samples, depending on your personal preference.
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...
- Use and develop a range of approaches to the basketry techniques listed above.
- Use an extensive (and sometimes experimental) range of materials.
- Expand your knowledge of basketry, demonstrating an understanding of the potential of techniques.
- Research and develop your ideas in response to the initial theme, both in sketchbooks and through sampling.
- Use these skills and research to plan and make a finished piece of work of your choice or, a portfolio of samples.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is aimed at both complete beginners, and students who have some previous experience of other
basketry techniques who, would like to add to this through extending and experimenting with existing knowledge
This course will also be of interest to students with a textile background as these techniques have references to
constructed textiles and stitch.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for 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.
A reasonable degree of manual dexterity will be required as you will be working primarily with your hands.
Please look at the rest of the course outline carefully to decide if you may benefit from support in your English
and Maths skills to help you to take part fully in this class.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught using a mixture of demonstrations together with verbal explanations by the tutor with handouts
to support this.You will also have opportunities to observe and handle samples and examples of work made using these techniques. There will also be a short slide show 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 contemporary basketry.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
- Basic materials and equipment are provided.
- You will need a sketchbook - for Week 2 - this will be discussed in Week 1.
- Small quantities of additional/alternative materials may be available to buy from the Tutor.
- You will be given information of anything else you might need during the course.
- You may wish to supplement materials provided with some of your own, especially towards the end of the
course when you will be working on your own personal projects.
- A camera/phone with a camera could be very useful but is not essential.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers a range of Basketry courses, of varying lengths, covering techniques such as willow, rush, plaiting
and random weave, which will appeal to a wide range of interests.The City Lit Basketry course VA190 is a two year, in depth study of Basketry, next entry is in September 2022. Please browse the website for upcoming courses.
Polly has over 35 years experience teaching in many different settings : schools, colleges, museums, galleries and in the community. She taught on the original C&G Basketry Courses at London College of Furniture, moving with these courses to City Lit where she’s been teaching for 25 years. Polly has her own basketry practice working from her studio at Kingsgate Workshops in Kilburn and has exhibited widely. Polly came to Basketry via an interest in Textiles which influences her personal practice through her choice of materials and techniques (she’s a member of the Textile Study Group). Polly’s approach, while rooted in traditional techniques found worldwide, takes a contemporary approach to Basketry allowing students to acquire a sound skills base from which to explore Basketry. Polly’s courses at City Lit range from introducing basic skills, to longer courses offering opportunities to delve into a technique in more depth, experimenting with possibilities and potential outcomes. Polly also teaches on the Advanced Textiles course. www.pollypollock.co.uk @pollypollockbaskets @pollypollockbasketryteaching
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.