All Things Square – 5 Day Course


Please be aware that this course is not suitable for beginners. It has been designed as a comprehensive introduction to square work and is aimed at those wishing to extend their skill set from round and oval work into the square. Students should be able to at least make a round or oval basket from scratch on their own, before attempting this course.

During the course you will be shown how to put together a square basket the English and continental way including handles, lids, hinges etc. Recipies for a range of baskets will be available to work from and take home at the end of the course. You will be required to be able to work from a low bench or floor with a lap board and block. For more detailed information on the daily time table and equipment that will be provided or needed please contact us.

Daily Timetable

Day 1 Bases

Selecting and preparing materials and making both English and continental bases, recipes will be provided for you to work from and you will be advised on how to avoid the common pitfalls when designing your own. The aim will be to make at least four bases.

Day 2 Continental Staking up and Upsetting

Using one of your prepared bases you will be shown how to stake up and upset the continental way which can be done on a table top or lap board. We will aim to repeat this process at least once depending on the number of bases available, once with corner sticks and once without. Any time remaining will be used to explore sidings and waling ready for bordering on day four.

Day 3 English Staking up and Upsetting

Using one of your prepared bases you will be shown how to select and prepare materials and stake up and upset your basket the English way. This will require you to work from a low bench or the floor with a lap board. We will aim to repeat this process at least once, once with corner sticks and once without. Any time remaining will be used to explore alternative sidings and waling ready for bordering the following day.

Day 4 Borders and Handles

The aim of this day is to get as many of the baskets bordered and handles in place as possible. The range of borders will depend on the recipes that you have chosen as will the handles. Opportunities to practice borders before working on the finished basket will be made available. Most students can expect to do at least two borders incorporating handles and two without. There should also be time to experiment with square and blunt corners working with and without corner sticks.

Day 5 Borders and Handles

The final day will look at creating divisions and lids for your baskets as well as methods of attaching and fastening lids. At this point you will hopefully have two baskets requiring either divisions or lids. You will spend this final day completing as much of your work as possible. Further recipes for you to use will be available to purchase as well as blocks, tools and willow.


  • Working the upset (with a 3 or 4 rod wale) starting in 3 or 4 equal places around the coffin base.
  • Working English and/or French randing for the siding.
  • Working a 2 or 3 rod slewing to add addition height where necessary.
  • Working different borders (Four-behind-Two or Five-behind-Two Borders) and simple 3 x 2 follow-on plait borders.


Skill Level : Intermediate

Tutor: Sarah Webb


Our 5 day course includes all materials, lunch and refreshments.

As well as taking home your own willow creation, you can also see the willow being grown and processed at first hand, taking in one of Somerset’s oldest crafts. Visitors are welcome to walk through the withy fields and enjoy the amazing variety of wildlife that the Somerset Levels has to offer.

At the end of your session you will have the opportunity to purchase willow, tools or books to help you master the trade at home should you wish.

Equipment required for course

Low bench and lap board plus selection of tools you are comfortable working with including: Knife, Secateurs, Medium bodkin, Hand iron + Commander, Weight and grease horn.

Equipment provided

Planks, Blocks, table top boards, basic tools (bodkins, secateurs, hand irons, commanders), 2lb weights, String, hoops and all materials required.

There will be a small number of benches and lapboards that can be borrowed if you do not have one or are unable to transport your own.

Additional information

All Things Square

02/09/19 – 06/09/19, 02/09/19 – 06/09/19 – 5 Day


9:00am – Please arrive at 8:45am to sign in and grab a drink, also great opportunity to meet everyone before the course begins.




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