Asymmetric baskets with Sue Kirk

Ref: SWE30038

Book now

Places available

About this course

Spend two days weaving with a variety of coloured willows. Learn how to weave an asymmetric basket, inspired by Polish Basketmaker Stanislaw Dziubak. Experiment with colour to achieve a painterly finish.

Course Description

Learn how to weave how to weave an asymmetric basket, inspired by Polish Basketmaker Stanislaw Dziubak. Experiment and weave with a variety of coloured willows to achieve a painterly finish.

The tutor has been weaving asymmetric baskets for some time and has enjoyed experimenting with scale and colour. Originally designed by Polish Basketmaker Stanislaw Dziubak, the asymmetric is a relatively new pattern, which is currently being explored by many amateur and professional basketmakers throughout Europe.

This workshop is suitable for all abilities. Beginners can make small to medium asymmetric baskets and advanced students can make a large scale asymmetric basket.

Learn a variety of traditional basketry techniques, such as pairing, three and four rod wale, French randing and four rod behind two wale. Add a contemporary look to the basket with a multiple handle bow and the asymmetric border. Advanced students can learn how to tie in a slath with scalloms, weave a chase pair around the base and experience making large scale work with fine willows.

Weave using a rich mixture of coloured willows, which can create a beautiful painterly finish to the surface of your basket.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • An apron and sturdy covered footwear in the workshop (no sandals) – this is an essential health and safety requirement.
  • All tools and materials are provided by the tutor, but you can bring your own if you prefer to use them. This includes the following:
  • Tape measure, ruler – at least 1ft long
  • 2–3 spring clothes pegs
  • Pair of sharp secateurs (preferably parrot-beak shape), a good pen knife, side or wire cutters
  • Small hammer or rapping iron
  • A couple of large old towels

Available to buy

  • Available from tutor:
  • Please make payment to the tutor on the last day of the workshop.
  • Large basket material cost: £20
  • Small/medium basket material cost: £15

Additional information

Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (not sandals).


Sue Kirk - Tutor at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Sue Kirk

Sue Kirk has been growing willow and weaving baskets for 20 years in King's Cliffe, Northamptonshire. She makes traditional and contemporary baskets using several varieties of home grown willow. She works to commission and creates her own designs for galleries and interior spaces. She teaches basketry at her workshop in King's Cliffe and at the City Lit. 


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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.