This weekend I should have been back at the woodland skills centre. The course I had booked on, I was the only one booked in.
Fortunately, for me, someone had cancelled their place on the beginners course for basket weaving. They always book out quickly, so I took the opportunity while I had the chance.
I didn’t quite expect to finish the basket in two days, surely it would take longer than that, especially when I only had the base completed at the end of Saturday.
First we needed to decide what we were going to make. The choice was between a shoppers basket or firewood basket. I decided a shoppers basket, with a small base so I could have curved sides rather than straight. Though, this was far trickier than a straighter edge basket, though our teacher didn’t say this until it came time to put the handle in.
This is as far as we got by the end of the first day. You can see why I wasn’t sure we would actually finish it the next day.
Once we got going again on Sunday, all of a sudden it got higher and higher. By lunchtime I was ready to start building the boarder.
I thought at this point it would be nice to add in a bit of contrast, so I went for the more reddish coloured willow.
Finally, time for the handle once all of the ends were tidied up.
For this we needed a much thicker piece for the core of the handle, and 8-10 thinner pieces to go around it.
It was great fun. A lot of concentration was needed, but so satisfying when you have something completed that you can then use.
As my plans had changed for this weekend I decided to return to working on the table from Tiverton Chapel. Having stripped it down, repaired the split leg and then painted the legs, I needed to stain the table top and lacquer it all.
After sanding the old varnish off both pieces, I realised why there was so many layers of it. It is a cobbled together piece but is really effective and does the job. As the timber used to construct the reading desk part is so different, I’m going to paint this the same colour as the legs to tie the two parts together. Though, I will return to it tomorrow as I ran out of paint on Saturday.
Of course there has been more walking with Cagney and Lacey. Meeting new friends along the way.
And more reading…. So that will continue for a few months yet!