Textile basketry – exploring twined pod forms with Mary Crabb

Ref: SWE32227

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About this course

Create woven pod forms while weaving textile-based basketry, inspired by gourds and seedpods. Using threads of various thicknesses, the pods can be woven in a range of sizes and with texture, colour and pattern.

Course Description

Taking inspiration from the garden, in particular gourds and seedpods, this course will focus on the weaving of small three-dimensional pod forms.

The course will concentrate on the technique of twining, making a connection with both basketry and textiles. Twining requires the weaving of an active element around a passive warp. The weaving is worked in the hands with the use of a few simple tools. Basics of joining in new threads, changing colours and adding/removing warps will be covered. You will be taught how to weave a range of starts for a twined base, including a doubled layer base which will create a decorative foundation for the start of the pod.

Starting with the same pod design, to learn the basics of the technique, you will then have the opportunity to explore a range of different materials. Scale will be considered – working with flexible materials from string to rope, threads to twine. The pods could be colourful and incorporate patterns and textures, by mixing different threads. A selection of gourds from the garden will be displayed in the studio for reference and to provide inspiration for forms, colours and textures.

Mary will demonstrate techniques, provide visual notes and offer individual support to enable you to create your own decorative woven pod forms.

By the end of the course, you should be confident with the technique of twining, the use of twining to create a three-dimensional pod and be able to adapt the technique to work with a range of materials. Please note, work is small scale, all made in the hands and can be tiring on the hands, neck and shoulders, so please consider this before booking.


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


  • On this course the tutor will supply all of the materials, including thread, rope, wools, cotton yarn, string, paper yarns, and twine and cords in a selection of colours and textures.
  • Tools will be available on loan, if required.
  • Tapestry and plastic needles will be supplied.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring along any images from the garden of any pods that you have been inspired by, e.g. images of forms, colours and textures that you might like to weave
  • Any gourds and seedheads which could be useful for ideas and inspiration
  • A notebook or sketchbook for recording any additional information
  • A camera (ideally on a phone for easy access) may be useful for recording the stages of working and images in the garden.
  • Please bring reading glasses if required for close work.
  • Students are welcome to bring small quantities of their own threads/wools/fabrics, etc. to incorporate into their work, no finer than double knitting wool, unless intending to work very small.

Additional information

It is recommended that Asthma and hay fever sufferers bring their medication, as occasionally the fibres from wool and some strings may bring on symptoms. Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


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.


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

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