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  • Writer's pictureTravelling Weaver

Making mixed media ceramic and willow crafts

Travelling Weaver Willow Crafts Shropshire, Mixed Media Willow and Ceramic Baskets

I started to work on ceramic and willow products when I thought of creating an interesting contemporary piece for the City and Guilds in Basketry course, about two years ago. This has evolved so that I am now creating fruit bowls and planters for my work as Travelling Weaver.

The clay bases are made at Loudwater Studios in Ludlow, which is a lovely creative environment where there are weekly pottery drop-ins. I make the bases out of buff or terracotta clay, this is rolled to fit a plaster of paris mould in different sizes. However, recently I have been exploring other templates, such as using Autumn leaves to form the base shape.

After I cut the clay to fit the template or mould I insert holes around the outer edge of the wet clay using a simple straw, whilst making sure I have measured the spacing between the holes accurately. These are then fired in the kiln and glazed some weeks later, and then re-fired.

Later, in the workshop at home I scallom on willow rods into the holes around the edge of the ceramic base and weave some horizontal weavers, perhaps with a contrasting different type and colour of willow rod, and then finish with a border.

Travelling Weaver Willow Crafts and Courses Shropshire, Ceramic and Willow Bowl

This is a five rod border on a fruit bowl. The bowls are really practical because if the fruit spoils in the bowl they can be easily wiped clean, whilst the sides are woven with willow.

I have been experimenting using willow bark cut into thin strips as side weavers in this planter/ light holder. I love the the tactile rustic nature of the outside of the bark, whilst on the inside it is more like a tan leather with beautiful grain evident in the wood.

If you have more questions or would like to enquire about commissioning a mixed media basket, please get in touch!

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