A basket made while out walking

Today while out for a walk, I collected a variety of natural materials suitable for use in making a simple basket.

I used willow wands twisted together to make the frame of the basket and Reed Mace/Bulrush leaves (see picture below) woven to form the basket.

Willow basket making course

This weekend I ran a basket making course with guest instructor Jo Hammond. We used various sizes of Willow withys to make the baskets. The willow had been harvested last winter, stored dry and then soaked in water for a few days prior to the course.

Here is Jo teaching students how to start making a basket

and here are some of the baskets made on the course.

Birch Polypore

This is Birch Polypore or Razor Strop fungus which as you might guess, grows on Birch trees.

It is called razor Strop fungus because historically slices of the fungus were cut and used to strop razors and knives when sharpening them.

A thin layer on the underside of the fungus can be removed and used as a self-adhesive plaster.

Reindeer leather pouches

Today I have been working with Reindeer leather, making pouches like the ones you can see below.

I bought the leather from one of the stall holders here at Jokkmokk in Swedish Lapland in February this year. The market is an annual event that has been taking place for over 400 years and traditional it was where the Saami people would gather to trade their goods.

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