Ian McDowall

., Llanon, Ceredigion, SY23 5JA Biography

I live in a village on the coast of West Wales with my two dogs. I first found the love of using willow when I attended a course with a friend many years ago at Winterbourne Medieval Barn in South Gloucestershire with teacher Jenny Humphris.  I made a basket with handle for collecting my chicken’s eggs and I still have that original basket now. I really loved this experience and seemed to pick up the weaving technique quickly. It gave me a new way to express my creativity. As a part time Occupational Therapist (OT) I already knew that "meaningful activity" can help with a person’s health and wellbeing and for a work life balance its important to participate in interests away from work. There’s the old joke about OT's being basket makers...….. and yes in my case this turned out to be true. 


Whilst on a course with Sarah Webb I found my love of making willow sculptures and I couldn’t wait to create my own projects when I got home. I have since had several commissions to create willow animal sculptures. I have developed my skills in basketry and sculpture with fabulous instructors including Nora Kennedy in Stroud, Sarah Webb in Westonzoyland Somerset, Mary Zammit in Crickhowell,  Amanda Rayner in Monmouth, Justine Burgess in Lampeter, and Jane Welsh in Lampeter. I have a Level 3 City and Guilds professional qualification in basketry studied at Westhope College in Shropshire gaining more knowledge with tutors who include Clare Revera and Eddie Glew. 

I find it a pleasure to be able to engage in and teach others in the ancient craft of willow weaving, from just starting with a pile of willow to creating both beautiful and functional objects 

Society today is overloaded with plastic, and I find it satisfying to be able to produce sustainable alternative hand made products. 


  • Basketry
  • Contemporary
  • Garden Structures
  • Rush (Basketry)
  • Skeined Willow (Basketry)
  • Straw
  • Traditional
  • Willow Sculpture