Basketmakers Circle coming to Lionel


The Scottish Basketmakers Circle are coming to Lionel, Ness for their Autumn Gathering 18-20 Octoer 2012. This is the first time that this event has come to the Isle of Lewis.

Local basketmaker Dawn Susan is organising the event and also teaching one of the three course that are on offer there. Students are coming from mainland Scotland and England to attend the courses.

The courses include Hebridean creel making, Exploring Heather and Basketry Fundamentals. Dawn Susan will be teaching the creel course, having learnt creel making from Donald Macarthur of Shawbost as well as studying the creels of the late Donald MacDonald of Gisla. She grows willow on her croft on Great Bernera and will be supplying all the willow for the course.

As well as making a traditional hebridean creel, Dawn will also be teaching students to make a woven creel strap on a hand loom. This will be in Spors Nis hall.

The course on ‘Exploring Heather’ will be taught by Caroline Dear from Skye. She will be teaching how to make heather rope and heather’s use as a basketmaking material. Heather will be harvested locally. This course will be at the Decca.

The ‘Basketry Fundamentals ‘ course will be taught by Lise Bech from Ayrshire. Students will be learning,reviewing and refreshing their knowledge of the basics of willow basketry. They will be focussing on round basket techniques, learning through demonstration and repeated practice.

Lise considered herself ‘self-taught’ till she met and learned from Colin Manthorpe, a traditional maker from East Anglia. Following Colin’s techniques and advice she became confident enough to pass on her basketmaking skills and have be doing so for the last 20 years. This course will be based in Lionel school.

Most of the students are staying at the Decca who are catering for the whole event. Currently there is a single place left on the Basketry Fundamentals course, the other courses are full.

Locals are invited to pop in and see what we are doing - saturday afternoon would be a good time when there will be the most to see but if you want to come along before that you are most welcome.

For more information call 01851 612409 or email Dawn on