Making rush baskets

mat

I have always loved baskets of all kinds and have quite a little collection picked up on various trips to the Far East, South Africa and Scandinavia. I like them made in various materials, but on balance probably prefer them made of natural materials.

One of the materials I’ve always found fascinating is rush. I love that it is local (well, -ish, Herne Hill is not know for its streams and waterways) and that it is part of an ancient craft and knowledge. I spent some significant time chasing down somewhere to buy rush mats for our summerhouse (www.penthreath-hall.co.uk, in case you are interested) and love the description in one of the Laura books of how her mother makes rush (or is it straw) hats.

I’ve always fancied learning how to create baskets myself and so when I saw that City Lit had a course on making rush baskets I was naturally keen to apply – particularly now I’ve got the time. I’ve done two days of a 5 day course and I LOVE it! The first Friday we made a round basket and today we made a cylindrical basket. I also started a plat to make a square-ish tray for pens etc on my table.

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