with Vivienne Turner
Below are the courses Vivienne is running this year at the Husbandry School.
Supports Dragonfly Embellishments
One day course - Sunday 12th March 2017
Two day course - Weekend 22nd and 23rd of April 2017
One day course - Sunday 21st May 2017
One day course - Saturday 24th June 2017
Harvesting Baskets made from Willow
Two day course - Weekend 23rd and 24th September 2017
One day course - Sunday 8th October 2017
Working with a natural material is invigorating and challenging.
Each basket and Sculpture created by drawing on a wealth of experience
and knowledge gained over 18 years. Willow is my main medium but
I also use Rush, Straw, hazel, Ash, Chestnut and birch and incorporate
metal in some of my sculptures.
Traditional basketry is at the forefront of my work and most of
my baskets have evolved from these historic and customary beginnings.
Discovering the many types of designs which have been used over
the years, from gathering vegetables and fruit to trapping sea
I am hoping this year to lean the technique
of “Withy Pots” by
a maker in East Devon they are the traditional way of catching
lobsters and crabs. Each parish around the Devon and Cornwall coast
produced a slightly different design which has been handed down
Harvesting and cultivating withies takes place
from November to mid March It is an exciting process, you never
quite know which varieties have donewell until the full harvest
is in. This then determines the range of baskets and sculptures
to be made during the year. Once the crop has beencut it is then
graded, bundled and left to dry.
Each basket or sculpture starts with its design concept followed
by material selection. I look at thicknesses of willow and color
combinations to achieve the required result. At that stage the
willow is soaked in large galvanized troughs and can take anything
from 1 hour to 3 weeks to soak up depending on variety.
I achieved a 2 year City & Guilds certificate in Basketry.
This qualification covered various mediums and techniques including
coiling as practiced by the African nations using grasses and leaves,
Twining which is reflective in the Maori’s native costumes
which incorporate feathers and straw work which is part of our
own heritage. Level 4 City & Guilds teaching qualification
to enable me to teach for Devon County and South Hams District
I have developed many ideas with willow
and recycled materials to form sculptures which have been part
of the Teignmouth Art Trail. They were
collaborative pieces and I was working with students from Brixham
Adult and Community Learning. For several years I worked for Devon
Artists in Schools teaching children how to create willow sculptures.
We made a variety of forms from David and Goliath to Harvest Spiders
and Ladybirds. It is extremely rewarding working with children
they have limited boundaries with imagination and happily weave
I regularly teach Adult Educational Classes at Totnes. They are
beginners courses and range from simple fruit baskets to Christmas
Decorations and Plant Supports.
Many of my students over the years have developed good skills
and techniques and now form a private group of improvers which
I teach once a month. We develop ideas and hone skills, very often
studying European styles of basketry.
In recent years my sculptures have been at the NEC in Birmingham.
Both basket and sculpture work has been at the Chelsea Flower Show
with two different exhibitors. Collaborative pieces have been displayed
at Warrington Shopping Center and the Eden Project. One of my most
recent pieces stands in the grounds of Tuckenhay Mill, a willow
lady depicting one of the workers around 1880.
BSW -Basket Makers South West and BA