Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

Basketmaking

I did a two day basketmaking course on the weekend and came home with this. It’s a shallow willow basket about 14 inches in diameter with a plait border.

The course was run by Sheila Wynter in her beautiful old stone cottage in Stroud, Gloucestershire. It was perfect for beginners and intermediate basketmakers alike and great value at £95 each for two days including lunch and materials. Sheila doesn’t have a website, but if anyone’s interested in doing one of her courses let me know and I will put you in touch with her.

I really enjoyed learning about all the different processes that make up a basket and am definitely going to take it forward, hopefully making  some more primitive baskets with hedgerow plants as well as willow.

My first atlatl

Here’s the atlatl I’ve just completed. It’s a European-style hazel atlatl measuring 25 inches (21 inches to the spur). The spur is bone and the handle wrap is wool.

The dart is just a practice one I’ve made from 12mm diameter dowelling from a DIY shop. I did it in the style of my practice arrows with white turkey feathers and green and red cresting. The nocking point is cut out from a limpet shell to create a strong and slightly concave nock. The dart is 6 foot 7 inches, which I think is a bit long for me. I might ending up bringing the length down to 6 foot.

The foreshaft and tip is removable, and this one is burnished and polished yew. I’m also going to make a blunt from cork for practicing with. Now to go out and play!

I think for my next atlatl I’m going to try an Alaskan style.