Christine Brewster
 Maker of Contemporary Functional Baskets
Reading, Berkshire
0118 966 2250            07786 062860   

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Learn the Craft

Workshop Dates


Willow Wednesdays


Willow Sculpture


Willow Basketmaking


Willow Plant Supports


Chair seating with cane



My classes are relaxed and informal. I show how simple raw materials can be made into robust, characterful objects using only weaving and basketmaking techniques and the imagination and labour of the maker. You will see a bundle of twigs turn into a functional basket in your hands.

Historically, with justification, basketmaking was used as occupational therapy, to calm the nerves, to excercise muscles and joints, to improve co-ordination and to give satisfaction in producing a finished product. In my classes you will learn some of the million and one skills needed to make the perfect basket. You will go home tired but relaxed without realising how quickly the time has gone. You will look at baskets with new eyes in the future.

With children's workshops I aim to convey the simple message: THINGS ARE MADE! In our over-sophisticated society it is often forgotten that the goods we buy in shops do not come into existence ready-made, but are constructed from raw materials. In less complicated times all the artefacts used to satisfy basic household needs would have been made locally or at home, using locally produced materials and a few basic tools. I show how weaving can be used to make functional, robust baskets for carrying, storing or protecting, and how they are made out of plants that grow in our gardens, or materials found in our dustbins.

I teach set courses at various venues or, if you provide the venue, I can design a workshop and come and teach your own group. I also teach in my own studio at Englefield every Wednesday for students who want help with a particular project or practice specific techniques, or who want specialised teaching not included in a more general class.

For an unusual birthday party why not book one of my plant support classes. You invite the guests and provide the venue (a large lawn or patio is ideal) and I bring materials and provide tuition. Each participant can expect to make at least one sturdy sweet pea support in a day.

I teach Willow basketmaking for adults ranging from a half day taster session to a two or three day introduction to traditional English basketmaking. I also teach whole day classes in frame baskets, squarework or other specialised techniques. I can design a class to suit your requirements.

For children classes range from half hour sessions making mini-hurdles to half day or whole day sessions suitable for Scouts and Guides or half term activities. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Willow sculpture and living willow classes for adults range from one day to five days.

Willow weaving sessions for adults range from one hour to one day and can cover a choice of projects from a pot stand through plant supports to simple basketmaking.

New in 2007, my chair seating with cane evening class takes place in Englefield School Hall on Wednesdays and is on-going. You can book for one or more blocks of five classes and learn how to replace cane seats on antique chairs.

Student on a three day basketmaking workshop

Family basketmaking day

Plant support workshop

One day plant support workshop

Frame basketmaking

Plant support workshop