Basketmaking Classes

Katherine Lewis willow basketry teacher

Willow Basketmaking Classes with Katherine Lewis

May 17-21, 2023: Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Spring Retreat

Katherine Lewis willow potluck basket Katherine Lewis Irish potato basket


Katherine will be teaching two classes at the Guild’s annual retreat at Seabeck Conference Center. Students will get to use our farm grown willows to make an Irish potato basket in one class, and Katherine’s Potluck basket in another.


The Guild will post the brochure and registration form on January 16 to their website. The registration form has to be mailed back; there is no online form. Seating in classes is based on postmark. There will be 10 students in each class. Click on the link above to find out the details on the Guild’s website.


Past classes:

Katherine Lewis willow basketJune 22-28, 2020: Iowa Willow Gathering 2020

Canceled due to Covid19!

Katherine was invited again this year to teach at the annual willow gathering organized by Jo Campbell Amsler and Lee Zieke in Decorah, Iowa. Katherine will be teaching three classes: log basket, fitched shopper and two small baskets. There are also classes by Clare Revera, Karen Tembreull and Beth Hester. Registration was open February 1 so these classes may well be filled already. As most of you who are willow weaving enthusiasts know this event has a high demand. Check out the website for all of the details. 

Katherine Lewis willow shopperJanuary 16-20, 2019: Northwest Basket Weavers Guild ‘Weave in Winter’ annual retreat. Katherine will be teaching two classes at this year’s event. There will be a willow bark purse class and an oval shopper made with scallomed on stakes. Your best bet to get into these classes is to join the Guild. Katherine’s classes usually fill as soon as registration opens. There will be more spots this year because Katherine will be team teaching with her apprentice Maria Bullock. Update: The classes are full.

June 18-24, 2018: Iowa Willow Gathering 2018

Katherine Lewis willow basketAnnual event in Decorah, Iowa organized by Jo Campbell Amsler and Lee Zieke featuring a week of classes taught by renowned basketmakers. Classes in 2018 will be taught by Katherine Lewis, Dawn Walden, Lene Rasmussen, Lindsay Lee, Pam Dennis and Ryk Weiss. Katherine will be teaching 3 two day classes – a small basket class, willow bark purse and willow garden basket. This is a great opportunity for people in the midwest or eastern USA to take classes from Katherine.

January 17-21, 2018: Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Winter Retreat

Katherine Lewis willow baskets class samples NWBG retreatKatherine will be teaching three classes at this year’s “Weave in Winter” basketry retreat at the Seabeck Conference Center including a two day “willow gathering basket”, two day “fitched travel purse” and a short class on braided leather straps. Images and details can be found on the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild website along with the registration forms.

July 18-23, 2017: National Basketry Organization 9th Biennial Conference

2017 NBO conference Katherine Lewis willow classKatherine has been invited to teach Colors and Textures: Playing with Willow at the next NBO conference to be held at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Working with selected willows from our farm, students will experiment with different weaves, utilizing the many natural colors of the willow. The end result can be a colorful, functional piece or something purely decorative. Willows and willow bark will be woven onto a framework created by a woven base and scallomed on stakes. Numerous weaves will be demonstrated and explored creating texture in the piece. There is a great list of instructors and events lined up for this exciting event!

August 26, 2017: Mary Irvine Basket Day with Northwest Basket Weavers Guild

Katherine Lewis willow bark card holderKatherine will be teaching her windmill weave willow bark business card holder at this annual event for members of the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild. Using prepared 1⁄4” strips of willow bark, students will play with windmill weave to form a small basket suitable for business cards or trinkets. This is an afternoon class. There are some other wonderful choices at this event in Edmonds, WA. See the Guild’s website for all the details and registration form.

January 18-22, 2017: Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Winter Retreat

Katherine Lewis willow bark basketKatherine will be teaching three classes at this year’s “Weave in Winter” basketry retreat at the Seabeck Conference Center. She will be teaching a two day class featuring the willow table caddy, a one day willow bark class exploring the windmill weave and a half day class making a willow tension tray. Images and details can be found on the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild website along with the registration forms.

October 22-23, 2016: Polly Adams Sutton, Marilyn Moore and Katherine Lewis

Katherine Lewis willow class in SeattleBasketry with a trio of teachers at the Mount Baker Neighborhood Center for the Arts in Seattle, 2195 Rainier Ave. S. (next to the Mount Baker Light Rail station). Katherine is happy to be teaching along side two great teachers in Polly and Marilyn. Polly will be teaching two one day cedar classes, and Marilyn will be teaching two one day wire classes. Katherine’s class is a two day willow oval shopping or round gathering basket.

August 20, 2016: Mary Irvine Basket Day, Northwest Basket Weavers Guild

Katherine Lewis willow basket class for NWBW Guild Basket DayAnnual event when the Guild pays the instructors’ fees and you pay for only the materials. Early registration for this event is open only to Northwest Basket Weavers Guild members and their guests. After July 22, anyone can sign up. Katherine is teaching this small willow basket with handle as a nice introduction to willow basketry. Made with a twined base, stake up using a false foot wale, add some 3-rod waling and french rand the sides. The basket is completed with a simple trac border. The handle is a surprise, no handle wrap necessary!

January 27-31, 2016: Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Winter Retreat: Full classes

oval laundry willow basket classOval willow laundry basket: This stake and strand oval laundry basket with inset handles is the most popular basket Katherine makes. The base is twined, stakes inserted and then the basket begins with a sturdy 4 rod base wale. Options for English or French randing on the sides will be available. The basket is completed with more waling, inset handle spaces and a strong 5 rod border.

willow square tray classRectangular willow tray: We’ll construct a unique square frame that Katherine learned from Jenny Crisp back in 2006, weave the base on that frame, learn to scallom on side stakes and use waling and randing for the sides. The basket will be finished with a 6 rod border and crisp square corners. This basket is a beautiful letter tray or table basket.

May 14-15, 2016: San Juan Island Textile Guild Full class

fitched willow shopper class basketKatherine is headed to the islands again bringing material grown on our farm for a two day workshop weaving a traditional French market basket. Working with bark-on willows, students will explore basket construction using the techniques of scalloming (cutting a tail on the end of the willow stake to attach to the base) and fitching (an open work weave) to make this elegant, lightweight, yet sturdy basket.

June 20-25, 2016: Willow Gathering Iowa Full classes

Katherine has been invited back to teach at this annual week of willow workshops in Decorah, Iowa hosted by Jo Campbell-Amsler and Lee Zieke. 2016 teachers will be Joe Hogan, Karen Tembruell, Joanna Schanz and Katherine Lewis. Katherine will be teaching her willow basket purse (3 day), a table or tool caddy (2 day) and a willow bark windmill weave pouch (1 day).

September 16-19, 2015: Columbia Basin Basketry Guild Fall Retreat

Katherine will be teaching two classes at this CBBG annual gathering of basketmakers at Rockaway Beach, Oregon. All info and registration is available through the CBBG. You can find more info and contact at their website The classes are an Irish potato basket and an oval garden basket, two of Katherine’s favorites to make and teach.

Katherine Lewis oval flower basket classKatherine Lewis Irish potato basket class

April 24 – 26, 2015: Salt Spring Island Basketry Guild.

Katherine taught a couple of classes for the salt Spring Island Basketry Guild again this year. Willow was provided and prepared by Joan Carrigan who invited Katherine up. Friend and basketmaker Kelly Willson came to help out as well. Here is a photo of the magazine basket class.

Salt Spring Island Basketry Guild willow class with Katherine Lewis

March 11-15, 2015: Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Spring Retreat.

Katherine will be teaching two classes at the 2015 Northwest Basket Weavers Guild Spring Retreat on the Kitsap Peninsula. Details and registration information will be available on the Guild’s website. You must be a member to attend but you can join when you register for the event. Both classes are now full.

Katherine Lewis potluck basket

The first class is Katherine’s ‘Potluck’ basket. The simple clean lines of this basket make it both a great introduction to willow for beginners, or a chance for more experienced weavers to perfect their willow skills. The base is woven on a provided willow hoop, scallomed stakes are attached and we’ll wale both to the right and to the left, making a fleur-de-lis pattern (and keeping the basket nice and flat.) Simple french randed sides give students an opportunity to focus on weaving skills, getting every stroke just right. We’ll wale both directions again at the top, then weave a 6-rod willow border to give the basket a beautiful finish. A cross handle with herringbone handle wrap completes the basket. The willow in this basket is not large, but some hand strength is necessary.

Katherine Lewis willow basket purseThe second basket is Katherine’s willow ‘purse’. In this workshop we’ll make a small rectangular basket with closely spaced scallomed-on stakes, a special spiraling English rand side weave, and blunt corners. Then students will use a provided screw block to weave a rectangular lid to fit the basket, bordering off the lid on each end. Willow is roped to make the hinges for the lid, a thin braided willow loop and willow peg, attached by braided waxed linen, make a traditional latch, and the basket is completed with an adjustable braided leather shoulder strap. Students will learn blunt square corners, use of a screw block, bordering off a lid, willow hinges, braided leather straps, and more. While some hand strength is always needed for willow, this project needs more patience than muscle.

May 15-18, 2014: Columbia Basin Basketry Guild in Portland, Oregon.

Katherine will be teaching a couple of classes and giving an evening presentation hosted by the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild. Events will be at the Multnomah Arts Center and registration and details are available from the CBBG.

Vallabregues basketry processionMay 15: Evening program: Three Basket Festivals in Europe. Katherine will recount her 2011 trip to basketry festivals in France, Poland and Germany.

Katherine Lewis willow fruit basketMay 16: one day beginning willow basketry class, choice of a fruit basket or a berry picker

Katherine Lewis rope coil weaveMay 17-18: two day class making a willow rope coil weave basket. There are a couple of spots left in this class. Cost is $170 plus $25 membership fee in the CBBG. Contact Carol Horvath at 503-272-8732.

June 13-17, 2014: Peters Valley School of Craft in Layton, New Jersey.

Katherine Lewis class basketsKatherine will be traveling to teach willow basketry at Peters Valley, a renowned center of fine craft. Learn the basics of stake and strand willow basket making, and how to make sturdy functional containers from a sustainable material that you can grow for yourself. The workshop will begin with round baskets, and then move on to an oval project. Techniques covered will include twining, waling, and several types of randing, ways to form willow rod borders and different styles of handles. Check their website for details and registration.

Peters Valley Willow Basketry Class with Katherine Lewis

Peters Valley Willow Basketry Class with Katherine Lewis

Here are some photos from previous classes taught by Katherine Lewis.