Welcome To Big Green Weaving
Basket maker Brendan Farren has distilled his 20 years of teaching experience to put together a series of lessons designed to give you the confidence and ability to weave many types of baskets.
Our easy to follow videos are designed to be worked through in sequence, so that you gently build up your weaving skills as you work through the series.
Irish Basket Making Heritage
Basket making is a most ancient craft. In Ireland we have been weaving willow and rush for centuries.
The origin of this age-old technology stems from our time as hunter gatherers and the practical necessity for light weight, strong and portable vessels.
An example would be the Irish Skib or Potato Basket which has been around for centuries.
Over time the practical skill of weaving evolved into forms of religeous and artistic expression, informing our folk heritage.
At school in Ireland we are taught to make the Brigit’s Cross, an ancient symbol associated with Brigit who is a saint and goddess figure. The cross is hung above the door to protect your home. It may have four arms or three, and is made of rushes.
As a basket maker your most essential tool is your hands and specifically
your left thumb.
Willow Weaving Techniques
Start here to learn the essential weaving techniques used in basket making.
These free tutorials are meant as a handy reference library for all students of basketry.
Basket Weaving Techniques : The God's Eye Knot The God's Eye The God's Eye knot is used in basket weaving to join a pair of sticks or hoops together. In this weaving tutorial, Irish basket weaver Brendan Farren demonstrates the God's Eye knot being used in the...
As a basket maker your most essential tool is your hands and specifically your left thumb. Ordinarily, the majority of weaving is performed from left to right, the right hand manipulating the rod which is being worked, and the left hand following up with the thumb in front and the forefinger at the back or inside of basket.
Waling is worked on the same principle as pairing, and is always begun with tops. It should always finish with the tops also, as to finish with butts would be likely to leave an unsightly gap.
Slewing consists of working two or more rods together one above the other, before and behind alternate stakes.
Pairing is used mainly in round and oval bottoms. It is not suitable for siding, but it is sometimes used in place of a top wale. Pairing is carried out by taking the left-hand rod of the two over the other, behind the stake, and to the front again, repeating this with each rod alternately.
Randing is begun by laying the butt of a randing-rod between two stakes so that it rests against the left hand one on the inside, about half-an-inch being left to be cut off later.
The key to becoming proficient at basket weaving is to practice, with an experienced mentor to guide you.
We realise that is not always possible to access classes locally, so the aim of Big Green Weaving is to bring the classes to you online no matter where you live in the world.
Video Weaving Classes
I created my Big Green Art Youtube channel to teach my students the essential skills required for succesful Basket Making.
One of the biggest hurdles to learning weaving is finding classes in your local area.
The videos below are complete weaving projects that are easy to follow and will take your weaving to the next level.
These over-my-shoulder projects are designed to be just like a live class, but with the advantage that you are in control and without the hassle of travelling.
Pause and rewind the lesson where ever you need, with the added convenience of learning at your own pace and time.
All our videos are in High Definition and with high speed streaming.
Click on the videos below to find out more.
What They Say About Our Videos
I appreciate how slowly you show the initial weave on the uprights first, then on the basket itself. Your description of what you are doing is also excellent – I am guessing you must be a natural born teacher. thank you so much for your videos! Wonderful!
Hope you will continue to post these brilliant videos. what a great channel. I couldn’t understand the three rod wale till your video. Thank you for explaining how so slowly.
It is wonderful to finally find someone breaking down willow work into well explained concise pieces. Thank you.
Thank you for your videos they are so clear and inspire me to get out there and start weaving. Nice one!