The BA Spring School, Harrogate, 3-8 April, 2022

4th Jan, 2022

We are delighted after 2 years of covid restrictions that our Spring School at Harrogate Ladies’ College is going ahead this year

The BA is running 7 workshops for its members. If you would like to participate, but are not yet a member, click here  to join.

Ticket prices range from £270 (non-residential) – £445 (fully inclusive residential). All accommodation is in single rooms, unless otherwise requested.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet and network with other like-minded members and enjoy presentations by the tutors in the evenings.


There are still tickets available for:

  • Willow Sculpture with Anna Turnbull
  • Basketry with recycled and found materials with Polly Pollock
  • Cane Chair Seating with Brigitte Graham
  • Ply Split Braiding with Julie Hedges


Jenny Crisp – ‘Square Willow Baskets’

Brigitte Graham – ‘Cane Chair Seating’

Learn, or improve, your chair seating skills so you will know where to put your doubles, misses and kisses for a perfectly caned bottom!

Students will need to provide their own chair(s) to repair or Brigitte can supply a chair to buy, if needs be. Brigitte will contact students before the course to discuss their project. You should be able to re-cane two bedroom-size chairs in the time given.

Suitability: All levels
Cost of materials: dependent upon on area to be covered, but should be no more than £25.


Julie Hedges – ‘Ply Splitting in Three Dimensions’

The versatility of Ply-Splitting makes it an ideal technique with which to explore three-dimensional forms.

Work in the scale and yarn of your choice, to make vessels, dishes, mats, or sculptural pieces.

During the course:

  • You will be introduced to three of the basic methods of Ply-Split Braiding: Plain Oblique Twining (POT),Single Course Oblique Twining (SCOT) and Ply Spit Darning, and combinations of these.
  • The importance of yarn selection, colour choice and the cord making process will be explained.
  • Different methods of Ply-Splitting will be examined in relation to making shapes.
  • Various methods of making and finishing structures will be shown.
  • During the week you will design and develop a finished structure or structures.

Suitability:  All levels

Cost of materials:  Approximate  cost of yarn £5-£10

Felicity Irons – ‘Rush: From Floor to Table’


Annmarie O’Sullivan – ‘Flackies and Hen Nests’

Polly Pollock – ‘Basketry From Recycled Materials’

For millennia makers worldwide have used imagination and inventiveness to create basketry structures and objects from materials available to them – essentially plant-based materials. Techniques evolved, some in parallel, others as people migrated for exploration, trade and invasion, skills and objects of use being shared and developed further. This is an evolution which continues today.

As people began moving from rural to more urban areas, available materials changed, so with continuing ingenuity techniques began to be worked with combinations of ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ materials. Taking coiled basketry as an example, a plant-based core, might be stitched with a manufactured material, very often plastic, reused from a form of packaging e.g., unravelled vegetable sacks.

Some basketry is made entirely from re-purposed materials, others are combinations of “found” and “bought” materials.

In this course familiar techniques will be adapted for use with different materials, similar to how stake and strand techniques are used for both willow and cane, but with variations to accommodate each material’s characteristics. As with early makers working with plant materials, it’s the ability to visualise the potential of a material and adapt techniques which produces exciting outcomes.

This course aims to be of interest both to students who may already have a range of techniques at their fingertips, or who are new to some of the techniques being used.

Each day of the course will focus on a different material(s) and technique such as coiling, plaiting and twining.

Suitability: All levels

Cost of materials: Students will be given a list of materials to collect and bring along, and Polly will bring along additional materials which can be used alongside students’ materials. There will be a small charge for things which are not recycled.


Anna Turnbull – ‘Willow Sculpture’

Anna is a willow artist and basket maker with many years teaching experience. She is well known for her lifelike sculptures of animals and birds. Her willow sculpture work starts with drawings and observations of movement. Her larger pieces are made on a metal skeleton. This gives a starting point for the weaving, a structure for strength, and extends its life for an outdoor environment. The willow is woven in bundles, creating lines which echo the contours of the muscles of the body or create the flow of the form.

In this workshop Anna will guide you through her process for making smaller sculptures. You will start by making scale drawings of your chosen subject. Next, you will use these to create a wire armature. Then comes the weaving, interpreting the shapes and form, working with groups of rods. Finally, any distinguishing features or details are added.

Suitability: All levels

Cost of materials: approximately £20