Welsh Basketmaker’s South Wales Group Update

The next few weeks are very busy and Mel and I are on holiday for a week from Friday so we need to get a bit organised this week – can’t believe it is nearly June!

Wool and Willow Festival


As everyone knows this starts on Friday this week . Mel has got 2 items so far to take with her for our group display, it is looking a little bare! We would love it if you would consider lending us just one of your favourite things you have made – basket or any other item for display at the festival. Some beautiful work has been produced by our group (and I am simply thinking of everyone’s first baskets at this point) and we would like to show it off! Let me know if you can provide something and we can arrange to pick it up before Friday morning when we leave to set up. The item will be on display for a month and we will pick it back up and return it to you then.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is to be held on Monday June 6th at Colwinston Village hall and we will be making conical plant supports. We need a week to prepare the willow for this so we need to know if you are attending by Thursday this week at the latest. Everyone very welcome.

Flatholm Trip

The long day for Flatholm Island falls this year on a weekend when both Mel and I are tied up (Mel is in London and I am working with Les on the Cyntell course). Everyone had such a fantastic time on this trip last year that I wondered if you would still like to go as a group anyway. The cost for the trip would be £34 per person which includes food. The date would be Saturday 17th September – maximum 15 places on Lewis Alexander Depart 0845 Return 2045. It is easy to arrange a trip but we would need a volunteer to liaise with Natalie regarding booking this trip, let me know if you are interested.

Basketmakers Association Summer Meeting

We are also planning a trip to this event in Cheltenham on 18th June.
If you would like to come on the trip, please email me or Deb at deborah.hill@wales.gov.uk by Thursday this week as well so that we can see if we need to hire a minibus or just car share during the day. It should be a lovely day out and gives us an opportunity to meet other basket makers from all around the country.

Lots to respond to here so I look forward to hearing from you!

Welsh Basketmakers April Meeting – Basket Bases

Wonderful, practical, relaxed meeting this month – thanks everyone for your lovely company and thanks very much Leigh for taking notes and typing them up for this blog!

RHS Flower Show

Thank you to everyone that helped at the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff on 8th – 10th April. It was lovely to have you there to help sell the willow cuttings and talk to people about what we do. We have presents for you, but they haven’t arrived yet!

Wool & Willow Festival 28th May to 25th June Llanidloes http://www.woolandwillowfestival.org

We have 2 tables at the festival, 1 for display of work done by the group, another for pieces to sell. If you have anything you would like to be taken up please contact Mel to arrange. Will limit it to 1 piece per person. Needs to be with Mel in next couple of weeks. Mel is teaching a frame basket course on the 18th June and is also co-ordinating the volunteers for the 5 sessions we’re committed to cover for the four week festival. If anyone is interested in going to Llanidloes, then please contact the group via Facebook or email and we can co-ordinate lifts/car share.

BA Summer Meeting & AGM 18th June – Cheltenham http://www.basketassoc.org/index.php

We’re arranging transport for all those keen to attend. If you would like to come on the trip, please email Deb at deborah.hill@wales.gov.uk and we’ll sort out cost etc. The BA should be announcing more details in the next newsletter due in May. It’s held not far from Sally Goymer’s Studio where she will be demonstrating in her workshop for part of the day. Wales will be hosting this next year.

BA Spring School – 3rd – 8th April – York

Jill attended this 4 day residential course held in York, with courses held by John Excell, Nantucket Baskets; Shuna Rendel, To Net or not to Net, Ted Kelly from Ireland teaching straw work & plaiting; Mark Butcher, fine willow work & Joe Hogan, basket maker from Ireland. The accommodation and food was first class. Jill enjoyed classes with Mary Butcher & Joe Hogan, also Ted Kelly made a hen basket and with Prue’s help and a mobile phone ring tone, convinced the group there were hens in there. Ted however, was not impressed as he couldn’t hear the ring tone! There were some professional basket makers there keen to learn new techniques, but it was also suitable for all ages and abilities. Jill learnt some great new techniques and will bring some photos along to the next meeting. It as hard work and difficult to find a relaxing bath that wasn’t full of willow. There is a 2 day course in West Hope in September, but places book up quickly.

Practical Activity – Bases

We split into 2/3 groups, some doing square bases in clamps with Mel, others doing ovals with Clare and Jill sharing some of her new found skills in oval bases with Sarah & Jude. We managed to get quite a bit done in the hour we had and some took some buff willow home to finish off.

Thanks to Liz for arranging the refreshments this evening – Leigh has control of the tea basket & Jude will be in charge of cake for May’s meeting.

May’s meeting – Monday June 6th – Plant supports Material Costs – £5 per plant support. (plus £2.50 hall rent) 7.00 – 9.00 pm. We need to know if you are attending this meeting by Monday 30th May as willow will need to be soaked for each plant support.