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Welcome to Rushmore Baskets

About

Working from my studio in Presteigne, I weave with English rush and other natural materials to make beautiful and useful baskets.

Rush is a perfect weaving material – it will plait, weave and coil into almost any shape, it can be sewn or woven, become dense or airy and create soft or hard forms.  I have been working with rush for nearly 10 years and continue to learn what it can do.

I cut rush every summer from the River Isle in Somerset, bringing home as many bolts as possible to dry and keep me going for the coming year.  I teach from my studio too, so I need to cut enough for my students to use.

I sell through local galleries, H-Art as well as online.

Clair Murphy of Rushmore Baskets

Gallery

A selection of baskets and mats are shown below.  Rush is a highly adaptable material, so if you cannot see the basket you would like we can work together on creating one to your specification.  I work on a commission basis, with a lead time of around 4 weeks, depending on the style of basket or the size of the order.

Courses

Rushmore Baskets Courses 2022

2022 courses at a glance

12th MarchOne Day Course£65 Make a breadbasket
9th & 10th AprilTwo Day Course£140 Make a rush frail
14th & 15th MayTwo Day Course £130 Make a pouch handbag
11th & 12th June Two Day Course £140 Make a shopping basket
9th and 10th July Two Day Course £140 Plaited and sewn basketry
17th September    One Day Course £60 Rush and garden fibres
22nd October One Day Course £60 Making table mats
12th and 13th November Two Day Course £130 Exploring Burkina weave

For a booking form email me at rushmorebaskets@gmail.com, DM me on Instagram at clair_at_rushmore or text me on 07713 514902


Make a bread basket

One day course

Date    Saturday, 12 March

Time    10.00 am to 5.00 pm

Price    £65.00

This basket teaches the basic techniques of rush basketry.  It introduces a checkweave centre and pairing for the base and the use of a mould.  A variety of weaves can be used to complete the sides and a simple border completes the basket.  At the end of the course you will have a basket to take home.

This course is suitable for complete beginners, those with basketmaking experience in other materials who want to try rush, and those who have done some rush basketmaking and wish to improve their skills.


Make a rush frail

Two-day course

Dates              Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 April

Time                10.00 to 5.00 pm

Price                £140

The frail is a highly traditional lidded rush basket.  This course will teach two methods (wide plait or plaiting and sewing) and you will be able to choose which to undertake.  Some elements will be available ready made in case of time shortage!

This will be quite an intensive course and will suit those with some basketmaking experience wishing to extend their skills.


Make a pouch handbag

Two-day course

Date    Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May

Time   10.00 am to 5.00 pm

Price    £130

This pouch handbag makes a great summer accessory.  Made with long or short handles it can be a shoulder or carry handbag, or made as a clutch purse, your choice.  The simple design allows you to experiment with a number of weaves on the sides, and can be a great way to create a sampler of different patterns.

Suitable for complete beginners or those with more experience wishing to expand their knowledge of rush weaving patterns.

Please note that leather handles incur an extra charge


Make a shopping basket                                                         

Two-day course

Saturday and Sunday 11 and 12 June       

10.00 am to 5.00 pm           

Price £140

This course will teach some of the basics of rush basketry and allow you to extend your experience over two days.  You may experiment with different weaves up the side of the basket and you’ll take home a strong shopping basket which will last for years to come.

This course is suitable for complete beginners and those with basketmaking experience in other materials who want to try rush.  Those who have done some rush basketmaking and wish to improve their skills.  Please note that leather handles incur an extra charge.


Plaiting and Sewing

Two-day course

Date:   Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July

Time: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm

Price: £140

This course will teach flat plaiting methods using 3, 5, or 7 end plaits, we will also look at sennit (even number) plaits.  The first day will be spent making a length of plait and the second sewing it into a mat or open basket.  At the end of the course you will have a basket or mat to take home.

This course is suitable for complete beginners, those with basketmaking experience in other materials who want to try rush, and those who have done some rush basketmaking and wish to expand their skills.


Rush and Garden Fibres

One day course

Date    Saturday 17 September

Time   10.00 am to 5.00 pm

Price   £60.00

Suitable for everyone, this course will explore the baskets you can make from rush and materials collected from the garden.  Some garden materials will be supplied, but bring your own too.  Start collecting now!  Leaves such as iris, crocosmia, daffodil, daylily, gladiolus, flax, cordyline are all suitable – cut them long and hang them up in bunches by the tip ends somewhere airy to dry.  A great course for everyone interested in gardening or the cross over between textile and basketry.  You should take home at least one basket.


Making table mats

One day course

Date    Saturday 22 October

Time    10.00 am to 5.00 pm 

Price   £60.00

This course teaches the basic techniques of rush basketry to make table mats and coasters.  It will introduce two sorts of starts – checkweave and spider – and use pairing and waling weaves.  A simple border will be used to complete the mats.   At the end of the course you will have at least two mats to take home.

This course is suitable for complete beginners and those with basketmaking experience in other materials who want to try rush. 


Exploring Burkina Weave

Two-day course

Dates  Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 November

Time    10.00 to 5.00 pm

Price   £130

Burkina Weave is a form of weaving where the warp moves along to create an integral plait.  Extremely absorbing, this weave can be used in a number of ways to create baskets on or off a mould, and either on its own or incorporating other rush weaves.

This course is suitable for complete beginners or those wishing to expand their rush weaving skills.


Covid-19

All courses are subject to Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time.  If it is not possible to run the course due to restrictions then I will refund your fee in full and propose a later date for the course. 

Venues

Courses will be held either in my studio in Presteigne or at the Birches Farm Barn near Kington.  The venue will be confirmed well before the course date.