Coiled basketry, using rope and string with Mary Crabb

Ref: S1D31318

Location: West Dean
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About this course

Learn the basics of coiled basketry, working with rope or string. Stitch and wrap with a range of colourful threads and yarns to create a coiled form.

Course Description

Learn the basic techniques of coiled basketry on this one-day course. Coiled baskets are formed with the use of a core and a sewing material. The stitches can be varied and incorporate wraps. Variations in stitch and material can add texture and pattern to the surface; with the addition of a colour, the two can combine with great effect.

Skills taught will include beginning, wrapping, simple stitching, joining of threads and finishing. You will be working with a range of colourful threads and yarns around a rope or string core to create a patterned coiled piece. By experimenting with the laying of the core, you will be able to dictate the form your work takes.

Coiling is a slow process, so you should expect to make a small sample. This could take the form of a small vessel or could be more free-form. Mary will demonstrate techniques, provide visual notes and offer individual support to enable you to create your own unique piece of coiled basketry.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing materials shared amongst the group.

What students need to bring

  • Any examples/images of coiled structures would be useful
  • A notebook or sketchbook for recording any additional information
  • A camera may also be useful for recording
  • Reading glasses are advisable if you need them for close up work
  • Large eyed needles, metal and plastic
  • Essential - wear sturdy covered shoes in the workshop
  • The tutor will provide all the tools and materials required for the workshop, however, you are welcome to bring any thread, wools, string, rope and cords, in a selection of colours and textures, which may be suitable to use.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A selection of needles
  • Office string and upholstery twine

Additional information

Asthma and hay fever suffers are recommended to bring their medication as occasionally the fibres from wool and some strings may bring on symptoms. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Mary Crabb

Mary Crabb is an award-winning contemporary basketmaker. Having originally worked in willow, Mary now works with fine flexible materials, both natural and man-made, to create small, detailed and decorative woven forms exploring the connection between basketry and textiles.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.