October’s meeting included the eagerly awaited Soft Basketry workshop led by Averil Otiv.
Those members lucky enough to get a place on this sell-out workshop were led through the stages in creating a woven 4 corner paper basket using a recycled Muslin backed map. Although the technique was a very simple under over weave, the combination of 20 separate strips of map and a bias weave direction soon had us rising to the challenge. Averil is a splendid teacher, extremely skilled and knowledgeable as you would expect, but also skilled at stretching those more able whilst at the same time keeping those who needed a little more help, on the right track.
This was followed by a very informative talk about the wide variety of plant materials and styles Averil has used to make exquisite basketry of all shapes and sizes. Linking basketry materials to what we grow in our gardens was a high point for me personally.
Day two of our workshop saw everyone complete the map basket and then progress onto making any one of Averil’s other designs. Working with diverse materials such as pine needles, rush, or painted paper between us we created an assortment of two corner, eight corner and round baskets and mats. This workshop was thoroughly enjoyed by all and is highly recommended.
For those of you eager to try Averil’s designs now, she has produced an excellent book ‘Fibre Basketry Techniques’ visit www.averilotiv.co.uk for further information.