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.

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