Learn with Hilary

Weave your own grocery basket

Chicken Shed Studio, Schumacher College, Dartington, Devon

Two-day course   6/7th October 2018

Saturday 10 –  4 pm. 9.30 for coffee/tea. Sunday  10am – 5pm.  

£150 bring your own packed lunch. Refreshments included.


Make your own lovely grocery basket for market day shopping. Learn the ancient craft of willow weaving on this two day course in the capable hands of master craftswoman Hilary Burns. The size and complexity you will achieve will depend on whether you are a complete beginner or have some previous experience of the craft.

Hilary Burns is a basket maker and founder of the ‘Basketry & Beyond’ Festival, and is a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the New Craftsmen. Having originally trained in textiles, she initially began making baskets in London using recycled material. Moving to Devon thirty years ago, Hilary became interested in using natural and sustainable materials – namely willow – and currently grows a collection of many different varieties on the Dartington estate. Between November and March, Hilary harvests the crops, drying the rods and re-soaking for weaving as required throughout the year.

Her basketwork is based on traditional techniques used in a contemporary way, using heavy willow to give her pieces a robust, chunky and natural looking style. Beginners and those with some experience are welcome on this course.

 To book and for information

Email crafted@dartington.org


Telephone 01803 847221




Weave a frame basket in London (Selvedge Magazine course)

One-day course at The Artworkers’s Guild, 6 Queen Street, London

15th December 2018  11am – 5pm   

£128 including materials and light refreshments.


Hilary has been making, teaching and writing about basketry for over thirty years. She grows her own materials, a collection of coloured bark willows, in Devon as well as incorporating other natural materials into her work. Her baskets are contemporary in style and she uses a mix of techniques acquired from her travels and research into the craft. As well as using basketry in a functional way she is interested in how the skills may be transferred to other craft disciplines.

Taking a simple structure, Hilary will show you how to weave a frame basket. You will learn to secure the hoops and incorporate the ribs, manipulate the materials, and explore the natural colours of different varieties of willow, to achieve, by the end of the workshop, a satisfying and useful object. Having learnt the basics of the technique, you will appreciate how this style of making lends itself to variations of form and complexity of weave. This type of basketmaking was, in the past, commonly practiced by traveling people and woodsmen with access to wild or hedgerow materials. Seemingly simple, it is an exercise in judgement and balance. Warning: knifework is involved.

Students should wear comfortable clothes, Hilary will bring the materials ready prepared. If you have your own pair of sharp secateurs and/or a sharp Opinel knife that you like to work with, please do bring it along.

This workshop is suitable for beginners.

To book: https://www.selvedge.org/collections/workshops-in-our-studio/products/17-march-2018-picnic-baskets-with-hilary-burns-london-uk

Please note that the images on the website are of Hilary’s frame baskets. You will be making a structure that can be completed in one day. It won’t be as complex as the baskets in the photographs.