01626 821145 | email: info@husbandry.co.uk
Explore the ideas and practice of
ecologically sound land management in
the beautiful Devon countryside
Courses and Programmes
in 2019 at a glance
The core tutors for the Husbandry Skills courses are Jonty and Carole, of course, along with longstanding team member, Sula. MORE
hEarth Skills
Basket Making
with Vivienne Turner

Below are the courses Vivienne is running this year at the Husbandry School.

Plant Supports Dragonfly Embellishments
One day course - Sunday 10th March 2019

Gathering/Foraging Baskets
Two day course - Weekend 27th and 28th of April 2019

Willow Platter
One day course - Sunday 19th May 2019 

Trug Making
One day course - Sunday 5th May 2019

Harvesting Baskets made from Willow

Two day course - Weekend 5th and 6th October 2019

Berry Basket
One day course - Sunday 8th October 2019

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 crustaceans.

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 through generations.

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 Councils.

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 freely.

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
Basketmaking Association

Traditional farming methods for a sustainable future
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