This workshop was better than expected! It was my first visit and I was very impressed by the smooth operation, how I was made to feel welcome and most impressed by the quality of teaching and the excellent lunch. Jess is a very good teacher, standing back observing and ready to support as soon as she was needed. I felt very much at home – everyone was so very nice and kind.

Jess was really helpful and patient when things didn’t quite look how they should do! Just a really lovely day out – perfect me time, thank you!

Leilah Vyner

Leilah started her willow weaving business as a hobby through Medieval Re-enactment around 2000.  First making medieval items like willow bee skeps, eel traps, quivers and chicken cages and not a basket in sight!

As Leilah’s interests moved away from the medieval scene she started to make more everyday items such as baskets and decorations and she soon became interested traditional green wood working too.  Since then the scale of her ambition has grown and she tackles large scale willow sculptures, a wide range of basketry, willow fencing and green willow projects too.  She also has a collection of sculptural pieces that can be hired for events.

Leilah loves to share these tradition craft skills and teaches widely.

You do such a grand job – perfect location and set up, always welcoming, inspiring tutors and great food such a great day out thank you Gaynor, Sue and Vanessa

Averil Otiv

Averil is a botanist and teacher by training. She teaches on a regular basis at her home and around the UK. She was tutor at the 2015 Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers and again in 2017. She exhibits with the Braid Society, Basketmakers Association and Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers on a regular basis.

More information and photographs of Averil’s work can be found on her website or Instagram site:

Averil has produced a book entitled, Fibre Basketry Techniques, published in August 2017. She will have copies available to purchase on the day if desired.

Sarah Hall Baqai

Sarah started working with willow having been inspired by the magic of lantern festivals. Light is incorporated into sculptural forms which she combines with her skills in papier mache and collage in different themes.


Sarah works from her studio in York producing 2D and 3D works in papier mache, collage, cut-outs and painted forms inspired by subjects and characters from folk art and folk tales, world travel and the peculiarities of everyday life, observations and nature.

Very encouraging and helpful and a lovely calm way of teaching.  Loved creating my Hare and seeing him finished.

I loved learning something new in a very welcoming environment,  Excellent day all round.

Very interesting day and a chance to learn something new (and great food!)

Perfect – great company, fantastic facilities. It was great to be able to make professional looking items with all the materials and equipment available – didn’t want for anything.