“A basketry festival, created by makers for makers”
22nd – 26th August 2022
Introducing 5 very special days of willow weaving inspiration, teaching & community
Immerse yourself into 5 days weaving with 4 willow basketry experts in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside with new friends, great food and merriment.
Get knee deep in inspiration, from your tutors & fellow weavers.
If this is you, then sign up to tear up and together we’ll make this happen!
[Please Note: if you are already a subscriber, you will get a red error message. Please go to “click here to update your profile” just underneath. You will then get an email to “Update your preferences” and you can add your name to the Tear Up List from there with a single click.]
As basket makers that are passionate about our craft, we wanted to create a truly special willow experience that was like no other -something that we could all only have dreamt of when we started out.
We are bringing together 4 renowned willow weavers in the UK for a 5 day festival of weaving. You’ll be learning from two of our tutors, which has never been done before. This unique and priceless experience is a chance to watch, learn and get down and dirty with the very best in the industry. Ready to wade in?
Who are the tutors?
We are so excited to share this motley crew with you. With over 80 years collective experience, they have skills and knowledge they cant wait to share with you. Normally it’s either difficult or impossible to get teaching time with them & now you can learn from two in one week!
Jenny set out to make a living from making functional objects from homegrown, indigenous materials. She aims to practice using the inherent nature of these materials to the best of her knowledge, ability and experience, continuing to be innovative whilst maintaining the heritage of this craft.
She is indebted to the basket maker David Drew whose expert knowledge and understanding of the environment had a fundamental impact on her career choice and way of life. This experience extended her love of the outdoors and transformed her awareness of this ancient and cultural craft.
She is now the Queen of our craft, inspiring a whole weaving community.
Eddie started out in the willow world learning from his basket maker Dad in the red shed at home. His Father sparked a passion for the craft which continues to this day. By 2015 he was given the honour of Yeoman Basketmaker by the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers. Eddie was mentored by his hero Sally Goymer and specialises in precision basket making, made to measure skills and expertise in square work. He has taught internationally and has woven commissions for Royalty, Presidents & designers. Find out more about Eddie’s journey here.
Peter has been making baskets for over 25 years having originally been inspired by his father-in-law Will Berry, a well respected Suffolk basketmaker. His basketry style has developed over that time from a wide variety of influences. He always feels there’s more to learn. Teaching has been a sporadic thing across his career but certainly relishes the opportunity to pass on knowledge as it has been passed on to him.
Peter is a willow grower & master of our craft, creating aspirational work.
John Cowan began basketmaking at 25y and is inspired by the beautiful and functional baskets produced by craftspeople of the British Isles. These designs went beyond what was necessary for utility and ended up being a significant contribution to world craft heritage. John continues to pursue his research into many of these agricultural, fishing, industrial and domestic styles that were once produced in basketmaking workshops up and down the UK. John was taught his craft by veteran basketmaker Colin Manthorpe in Norfolk, along with Virgil Bausyz and Lise Bech in Scotland. John works as a full-time basketmaker and produces a variety of styles in his small workshop in Lanark, Scotland.
John is a leading light within Basketmaking, keeping these heritage baskets alive.
[Please Note: if you are already a subscriber, you will get a red error message. Please go to “click here to update your profile” just underneath. You will then get an email to “Update your preferences” and you can add you name to the Tear Up List from there with a single click.]
Choose your tutor team!
Whoever you decide, you’ve made the right call! The tutors have been paired to offer complimenting techniques, meaning you’ll learn a wide range of skills & top tips from not 1 but 2 tutors over the 5 days. Here are some more details about what each pairing will cover to help you choose your two teachers.
Here’s what you will make
Jenny & Eddie
Jenny – Square Flower Trug – This course offers the chance to make this adaptable design which works well as a flower basket, garden trug or kindling basket. The base frame is made with dry, 2 year old sticks onto which the base is woven. The corner join is quite unique in that it employs a very simple dovetail. Its a way of building that allows the basket maker to make long thin pieces with out any distortion by keeping the base very flat. Scalloms are then tied to the frame. Scallomed work allows you to choose how many uprights you might wish to have, giving the option to build a loose or tight construction. A tight construction will then lead you onto making a chunky border with broad square corners. The build can be tailored accordingly to the makers desire. It also offers the option to learn how to fix a wrapped handle with a central bow.
Eddie – Oval x6 Bottle Basket – This workshop is based around different techniques which can be used throughout your basketmaking projects. Learn how to weave an oval framework base with scallomed uprights. Close uprights to create a strong weave and a choice of weaves can be used. Other techniques learnt are different ways to create partitions and separators for the bottles. The handle can be Skeined or traditional woven, time dependant. I’ve chosen this basket to improve your all round basketmaking skills.
Peter & John
John – Herring Washing Maud – Participants will spend 2 days working on the Herring Washing Maund, which was a basket design used in the old Herring fishing industry for washing prepared fish. Learners will use willow and hazel to make either a small or medium-sized version of this basket.
The techniques to be covered include… tying a slath underfoot, making a fitched base, fitching, laying a 7- rod border, cramming off, weaving twisted rod handles on a fitched basket.
This class will be suitable for people already with reasonable competency in basketmaking and with some experience of making an underfoot base. Participants must be prepared to work with thick willow. Don’t panic, you’ve still got over six months to get up to speed with these techniques. John doesn’t regularly teach, but is looking forward to this opportunity to share with learners his knowledge of this handsome old fishing basket.
Peter D shaped Basket – The basket I’ll be teaching is a bicycle basket with a slight twist in that I make them starting from a traditional English oval base and finish with a D-shaped border. You’ll learn how to make an underfoot oval base, use a variety of weaves up the side – waling & English randing or slewing and because of the D-shape, a bit of square work comes into play with the corners. For those that want to a handle can be worked in as well, making the basket more versatile.
The Tear Up Schedule
Your ticket includes
- 5 days in the stunning Staffordshire countryside with just 32 willow enthusiasts and 4 teachers (2 of whom will be your tutors during the week).
- 4 days of teaching to include either Jenny & Eddie or Peter & John – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday.
- Tuesday evening there will be a discussion with our 4 tutors about our craft & questions.
- 1 day to rest, learn or discover in your own time, with tutors around throughout the day to chat and share ideas – Wednesday.
- There will be a ‘pop up’ shop on Wednesday where everyone can sell their wares.
- 4 delicious, home made lunches on the 4 teaching days.
- A finale banquet with your fellow weavers & tutors. to celebrate – Thursday evening.
- AND a Ceilidh (barn dance) to really let you hair down – Thursday evening.
We are hosting the Tear Up by Blithfield Reservoir in Staffordshire, the ideal, central UK location for a weaving experience.
The Basketry Tear Up will happen on a working Farm with plenty of barn space for teaching, an outdoor space for experimenting & creating, and a marquee for food, hanging out, our banquet dinner and much more. We will recommend places to stay nearby or you can camp on site in the surrounding fields – tents and campervans welcome at just £10 per night, paid separately.
The location is close to Uttoxeter, Rugeley and Lichfield Train stations, has easy access to both the M6 & M1 and for our international festival goers, our nearest airports are East Midlands, Manchester & Birmingham.
To create a truly inspirational 5 days of weaving wonder, we are throwing in some treats to help you step out of the every day and into the world of weaving.
All you need to do is get yourself to Staffordshire and arrange accommodation 🙂
The Basketry Tear Up will take place from 22nd – 26th of August 2022. Teaching days will be on the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with a ‘free day’ on the Wednesday.