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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

I run regular courses from my studio in Presteigne, Powys. 

Courses are small and relaxed, with a maximum of 6 students, so you can expect a lot of help and advice. 

Rush is a soft, textural material to use.  Whilst it requires some tension (pulling) to keep weaves tight and even, it is quite easy on the hands.  Contact me to find out about availability and how to book.

I can offer private tuition or special courses for groups, I also travel to teach, so get in touch if you would like me to teach in your location.

Courses 2019-20

Make a bread basket

Saturday 5th October 2019 – 10.00 am to 5.00 pm – £65.00

What you will learn  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 finishes 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.


Plaiting and Sewing

Saturday 16th November 2019 – 10.00 am to 5.00 pm – £65.00

What you will learn  This course will teach flat plaiting methods using 3, 5, or 7 end plaits.  The morning will be spent making a length of plait and the afternoon 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 improve their skills.


Collected from the garden – baskets from the borders

Saturday 25th January 2020 – 10.00 am to 5.00 pm – £50.00

What you will learn  Suitable for everyone, this course will explore the baskets you can make from materials collected from the garden.  Some 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 wider ends somewhere airy to dry.  If you want to use woodier material such as dogwoods, vines or other shrub cuttings, let me know.  A great course for everyone interested in gardening or the cross over between textile and basketry.  You should take home at least one basket.


Make a handbag

Saturday 25th April, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and Sunday 26th April 2020, 10.00 to 1.00 pm (one-and-a-half-day course) – £95.00

What you will learn  This basket extends the basic techniques of rush basketry.  You may purchase a leather strap, or make a plait to use as the basket’s handle.  At the end of the course you will have a handbag/small shoulder basket to take home.

This course is suitable for  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.


Making mats

Saturday 16th May 2020 – 10.00 am to 5.00 pm – £65.00

What you will learn  This course teaches the basic techniques of rush basketry to make 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 finish.   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.  Those who have done some rush basketmaking and wish to improve their skills.


Make a shopping basket

Saturday and Sunday 6th – 7th June 2020 – 10.00 am to 5.00 pm Both Days – £130.00

What you will learn  This course teaches some of the basics of rush basketry and allows you to extend your experience over two days.  You may experiment with different weaves up the side of the basket.  You will 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.

Exhibitions & Events

My work will be exhibited and available for sale at the following venues:


24th – 26th August 2019

Presteigne Open Studios

Rushmore Baskets, East Wing, First Floor, The Workhouse, Presteigne Industrial Estate, Presteigne, LD8 2UF

Opening times 11.00 am to 5.00 pm


7th – 15th September 2019

H-Art

St Michael’s Church, Discoed, Presteigne, LD8 2NW

Website www.h-art.org.uk            Instagram Herefordshireartweek