Julie Gurr-Willowweaver

Contemporary and Traditional Basketry

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All Hands On Deck 19th to 25th May 2019

Weaving Fishing Nets and Baskets

There is lots of information, photos, and examples of how baskets and nets were made and used for fishing in this exhibition at Brighton Fishing Quarter Gallery this week. Contemporary work by Mary Butcher, Louise Paul and myself also on display.

Charcoal a By Product of Basketmaking

My partner and I have recently got into charcoal production. The Artists Charcoal that we produce is made on the fire at home from bits of willow leftover from basketmaking.

Tin of willow just removed from the fire embers

It is an interesting process where the wood has to be burnt but the amount of oxygen it has access to is reduced. This burns off all the impurities in the wood leaving pure charcoal. We seal it in a tin and then put it on the fire.

We now have boxes of this charcoal for sale in Neames, the Art shop in Rye and Artwright in Hythe 

Artists Charcoal packaged in its box


You can also get it on ebay here 

We make it at home on a fire so it might not be up to the professional standard of some of the big suppliers so if you are an artist that requires all the pieces in a box to be a standard colour and softness it may not be for you. We have met artists that enjoy the variation however and of course our charcoal is cheaper

Baskets From Found Materials 19 – Grass

This month my basket is made from materials obtained during my trip to Scotland last October.

Grass Basket

There are two different types of grass in the basket. The darker one is one that was cut from Dundee Botanic Gardens where I had been demonstrating at an open day. My friend Clare, the gardener had saved it when working in the gardens. I twisted this one into a length of cord.


The other lighter coloured grass is marram grass (I think) collected on the Isle of Arran when I was back there visiting friends. I split this into finer strands and used it to tie coils of the other grass together to form a basket.

Grass Basket

I need more practise to get it less wibbly wobbly shaped but it is useful as a pen holder!

Grass Basket Pen Holder

Baskets From Found Materials 18 – Wrapping Paper

xmas basket 030

This basket was made using used Christmas wrapping paper.


After Christamas everyone has a pile of used wrapping paper. For this basket rather than just throw it away, I thought I would try and use some of it. After ripping the paper into strips I twisted them into a length of rope.

xmas basket 022

Then, using some bits of raffia that had been used to tie one of the presents I coiled the paper rope into a small basket.

xmas basket 034

You can see the coils clearly spiralling up when looking down on the basket.

xmas basket 031

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