“We'll sit & weave & braid baskets & dreams under the summer sun.”
The making of useful and often beautiful containers from natural materials is one of the oldest crafts known to man. This course will offer a broad introduction to ribbed or frame basketry made with native Saskatchewan willow. The materials are readily available. The techniques and construction methods are very straightforward. The baskets are strong, functional and have a rustic natural quality that most people find instinctively warm and appealing.
The overall objective is to provide participants with all the necessary skills and knowledge to continue to make willow baskets following the course. We will examine our Saskatchewan willows; learn what, when and how to collect as well as how to store and prepare the materials for use. We will make frames both with and without handles and we will learn to weave. Willow is a very versatile plant and can be used in many ways. We will find a time to talk about arbors, trellises, sculpture, furniture and the other interesting and creative things that people do with willow.
We will also find a time to explore the Ness Creek site and surrounding area. Depending on what we find we may even do some respectful harvesting.
Learn the fundamental principles of willow basketry including harvesting, prepping materials, frame-making, weaving, handle-making, & finishing.
Complete 3 or 4 baskets, with & without handles.
Make a frame or frames for use following the course.
Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to continue to make ribbed baskets.
Prerequisites There are no prerequisites for this course other than a willingness to learn and genuine interest in willow basketry.
Date: Tues. August 6th – Fri. August 9th, 2019 Tuition: $495 Includes:
Early Bird Course Tuition of $445
20 Hours of Course Time
Material & Equipment Fee of $50
Daily “Boreal Bites”
An unforgettable experience
Inclusive Price: $495 – $945 Inclusive Price varies based on chosen meal plan & accommodation during your time at forestART.
Morley Maier has been making willow baskets as a hobby for about 20 years. The baskets he makes are traditional ribbed or frame baskets. This very old style of basketry was important and useful to the Europeans who first settled our country and our province. Morley’s preference is to make strong and functional baskets that can be used as they were first intended; as containers to carry and store things.
Morley enjoys teaching the skills of basketry and for several years prior to its closure had been an instructor for the U. of S. at their Arts and Ecology Kenderdine Campus.
Morley and fellow basket maker, Shelly Westberg have had the honor of providing baskets for the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan to give as gifts from the province to various heads of state and other dignitaries from Canada and many other countries around the world. Included in the list of recipients is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He is also is a juried member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council. His work has twice been selected to be part of “Dimensions,” the SCC’s traveling fine craft exhibition. He has also received two SCC awards; the Merit Award and the award for Excellence in Functional and Production Ware.
"I took a willow basketry workshop with Morley Maier a few years ago and it was fabulous. He is a wonderful teacher. He talked us through, as well as demonstrated, all the steps necessary for making willow baskets, and then he helped us use these techniques to make several baskets on our own. The workshop was well-paced, enjoyable and relaxed. The baskets are lovely as well as functional, and we all had a good time. Highly recommended."
Past Course Participant
"I have created three willow baskets with Morley and they all turned out beautifully. He is very skilled both in the creation of his craft and instruction of classes. Participants in Morley's class will go home with heirloom-quality baskets to use for many years."
While previous basketry or other crafting experience may be useful, it is absolutely not necessary. This course is structured to insure that even those who have never worked with willow will be successful
While the materials used for very large willow baskets can be quite thick and may require strong hands, that is certainly not the case for this course. The willow we will be using will be smaller and easily manipulated. So for this course; if your hands can do everyday kinds of things, they can also weave baskets.
The baskets we will make are small to medium in size and so everyone will leave with at least 3 of their very own beautiful willow baskets. If we have time, we may attempt a fourth. Remember, you will also complete a frame or two so that you are ready for your next basket on your own following the course.
It’s choose your own adventure, with options to suit every budget! You can cook all your own meals, pay for lunches only, or get the full meal deal. You can camp with or without power, bunk in with some fellow artists in shared accommodation, or rent a private cabin.
Full Details on our Food & Accommodation Options can be found on the main forestART page or when you go to register!