Willow Basketmaking Course with Jenny Pearce


We don’t know about you, but every so often we get the urge to flee the smoke and head to the country to get down and dirty. And if we can find a recreation that uplifts our spirts and occupies our hands - that’s even better! The Amazing Blog learned of a Willow Basket-making Course run by Jenny Pearce out in Herefordshire. Jenny, a Dublin native, has been a basket-maker since the early ‘90s. She honed her skills in the West of Ireland, England, and France. Nature primarily influences Jenny’s work, of which is based on Celtic and English regional designs.


The course is run out of Canon Frome Court, a farming community. There, they host a number of different classes like basket-making; working with unstripped willow in a variety of colours and textures. The weekend will give you enough time to make a basket, and possibly a handle. This could be a basket to hold fruit and veg from farmer’s markets or perhaps to fit a potted plant. The airy look of baskets are darling inside and out. However, you’ll probably want to keep your basket out of the rain. We think that it’s very special to make something so versatile for yourself.

This course is a weekend-long affair, running from 10:00-17:00 on November 3rd and 4th. The total cost is £155, which includes tuition, materials, refreshments, and a lovely lunch on both days. Accommodation is not included. See Jenny’s list of places to stay here. If you would like to spend a relaxing weekend in the countryside learning to make a basket with Jenny, book here.

Williams Handmade - Leatherwork Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course

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We like to shake it up a bit on our activity weekends. After all, we can’t let those precious free days go to waste. This is when The Amazing Blog discovered Williams Handmade, a company who specialises in craft leather goods.  They offer several leather-working workshops, like the Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course.

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Designer Sarah Williams founded Williams Handmade in 2010. As award winners of the Accessories Collection of the Year Award at ITS#NINE, The Accessory Award from Absolut Vodka, and taking part of the “Power of Craft” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Williams Handmade truly deserves the description of high-quality craftsmanship. The company has also been shortlisted for the Ketel One Modern Craftsman Award and was nominated by Selfridges as one of their Bright Young Things.

From glasses cases to bags, Sarah Williams creates each of these items herself in the Williams Handmade Workshop in Bircher, Leominster which is located on the Hereford/Shropshire borders. If you love to support local artisans as we do, you should also know that the products are made from English Bridle leather coming from Northamptonshire.

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We’re particularly excited about their Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course. By the end of the day, you’ll have your own clutch bag or iPad case to bring home and put to use.  Our team members have never worked with leather before, but luckily there’s no need for prior experience to take this course. The day entails learning the basics of leatherwork (i.e. how to cut and prepare leather), the traditional saddle stitch, and learning how to finish the edges. You also get to choose your preferred colour and pattern combination, so your lovely bag or case is just to your liking!

The Williams Handmade Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course runs from 9am-1pm on the 20th of October for £65. Tea, coffee, and cake are included. If you’d like to spice up your Saturday with this fabulous course, click here. If you’re interested in finding out about their other classes, click here.