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Ciaran is a basket maker working from the Spiddal craft village. Following in his father’s footsteps he specialises in really strong willow baskets.
He grows his own willow which he harvests every year. The baskets he makes vary from large turf baskets to small bread baskets and everything in-between like shopping baskets, cradles, and linen baskets. He also makes traditional Irish baskets like the skib or cisog which was used as a potato basket and the creel which was used as a donkey basket.
As well as doing short basket demonstrations for those that have a bit of extra time to spend in Ireland, Ciaran runs longer basket making courses. One is a weekend course and the other is a four day course. Over the weekend you will get to make a bread basket on the first day and something around the size of a waste paper basket on the second day. He will also explain about the willow, how it is grown and prepared for use. There will be a maximum of 7 people on the course.
The four day course, for Beginners and improvers, the concentration will be on round work and each participant can expect to make 2, 3 or possibly 4 baskets depending on size and whether you have acquired enough skill to practice on your own. Those with previous experience can choose between round, oval, or square. Those with experience who have a particular project in mind should let Ciaran know this beforehand so that I can ensure we have suitable material available. Ciaran will also explain about the willow, how it is grown and prepared for use. There will be a maximum of 7 people on the course.There will be detailed class notes sent on after covering all weaves practised on the courses and also notes on the willow process from start to finish.
I have been welcoming groups from KnittingTours.com for the past 3 years and my Dad has also been hosting group for years before that. We have always found it very nice to deal with KnittingTours.com and find it a pleasure to host the groups who are always nice and friendly. I enjoy doing the demonstrations for the groups and always look forward to them coming to my basket making studio.