Weaving willow is one of the most sustainable ways to create incredibly useful objects. Willow grows quickly and is so flexible that it can be bent into a whole range of different shapes to create incredibly strong structures. Anybody who has been in (or under!) a hot air balloon will know that you can quite literally but your life in the hands of a well-made wicker basket.
The Heritage Crafts Association places the origin of willow weaving and basket making into the Mesolithic or middle stone age but the Origins Of Weaving Project at the University of Cambridge (https://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/archived-projects/origins-weaving-project) suggests weaving may even go as far back as the Palaeolithic era and we have to assume they would weave reeds into useful objects. In any case, it is clearly prehistoric in its origins and must be one of the most ancient crafts still being carried out in much the same way now as it was in the prehistoric era.
Whilst making a ballooning basket or ancient fish trap is probably quite an advanced course, everybody has to start somewhere and we are excited to announce a new course in our shop to introduce you to the ancient craft of willow weaving. So if you want to have a go at once of the most ancient crafts know then head over to the shop and you can see our most recent Saturday course.