Sunday, October 2, 2016

Art & Soul Basketry Retreat
September 30 - October 2, 2016

The Art & Soul Basketry Retreat was a great success! Master weavers Jo Campbell-Amsler (Iowa) and Joan Carrigan (British Columbia) shared their new techniques and designs using home-grown Ontario willow and Pacific Northwest cedar. We received 14 hours of instruction, plus friendship building and good food in a beautiful setting with members and friends from far and wide. We are looking forward to the next retreat.

All retreat participants posing with finished (or mostly finished) baskets.

Joan Carrigan teaching her York Basket using a variety of barks, grasses and sedges.

 The willow weavers group with teacher Jo Campbell-Amsler.

Jo Campbell-Amsler teaching her Shadow Basket using Ontario-grown willow.

A bonus weaving session was organized for Saturday evening. Karen Kotecki (above) and Debbie Mroczenski (below) taught us how to wrap rocks with cane and reed. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September workshop with Dale Adamson

Instructor Dale Adamson taught students how to make a potato basket, a ribbed basket using one oak round handle. The sturdy structure allows for different shapes and sizes to create a basket for a variety of uses. Dale brought some of her beautifully hand-dyed reed to allow students to really customize the design.

Dale Adamson's hand-dyed reed
added lovely colour to the potato baskets.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

August workshop with Wanda Haydt

Wanda Haydt taught the Southwestern Ontario Basketry Guild students how to make a Step Basket using flat reed. Most of us were able to complete the basket during Saturday's workshop. This durable and practical basket will be very useful.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

June workshop with Nancy Hager

Guild member Nancy Hager taught the beautiful double-walled cats' head basket with a rolled border. The natural reed inner basket came together fairly quickly and the outer basket was then woven on top of it. The Guild had a very productive workshop. The baskets will be completed in July.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May workshop with Karen Kotecki

Guild member Karen Kotecki introduced workshop participants to black ash as a weaving material. Many of us had never woven with black ash before and we discovered that it is smooth and silky to weave and very strong. We created a hand-shaped bowl with curled feet and ornamentation.  

Black ash splints (foreground) and antique black ash baskets.

Catherine completed her black ask bowl. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Art & Soul Basketry Retreat
September 30 - October 2, 2016

Sponsored by Southwestern Ontario Basketry Guild

Been weaving on your own? Ever been to that Canadian peninsula south of the Michigan thumb? Try something new with master American and Canadian teachers,  Jo Campbell Amsler and Joan Carrigan. Break bread and share ideas with compatible, friendly weavers in a beautiful peaceful setting for a retreat weekend on September 30 - October 2, 2016.

Our basketry retreat takes place on the peaceful bank of Lake Erie at the Holy Family Retreat House in lovely Harrow, Ontario, Canada. There are two work rooms for the classes. Each participant will have a bedroom with a sink; bathrooms/showers are shared. Food is prepared on the property. (If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know and every effort will be made to meet your needs.)

Weavers will meet at 5:30 pm Friday evening for registration and a meet-and-greet. Sandwich makings will be available, if needed. Then off to class 6:30-9:30pm. Saturday is a full day of weaving plus three meals and an evening programme. Sunday, we will be weaving in the morning with breakfast and lunch provided. This retreat weekend features 14 hours of instruction.

Jo Campbell-Amsler: Shadow Basket
(Skill level: Intermediate**)

Jo Campbell Amsler will teach the beautiful willow Shadow Basket. The basket design is based on the traditional Scottish Hen Basket, but the addition of sections of “coiled willow,” creates a lovely open lace design, which Jo calls “American Lace.” A variety of rib-style basketry techniques will be studied with an emphasis on shaping to create this form of basket (12" x 12"). For more information about Jo Campbell Amsler's work, please visit
$330CAD ($264USD) for non-Guild members. Cost includes instruction, materials, accommodation and food.
Maximum class size is 12 students.

Joan Carrigan: York Basket
(Skill level: Intermediate**)
Joan Carrigan, from British Columbia, will teach the York Basket. This rectangular basket features a variety of barks and natural materials of the Pacific Northwest and many weaving details. Choice of two sizes are available: the medium-sized 8" x 2.5" x 5" and the larger 8" x 5" x 5". For information about Joan Carrigan's work, please visit
Medium-sized basket $310 CAD ($248USD) OR large-sized basket $330CAD ($264USD) for non-Guild members. Cost includes instruction, materials, accommodation and food.
Maximum class size is 12 students.

**Intermediate skill level means you have made a number of baskets and are familiar with basic weaves.

Ready to register? Click here for the registration form. This PDF file will be viewable and printable in most web browsers. If you prefer, you can also download the file, open it in Adobe Reader or Preview (Mac users) and print.
Please complete all areas of the form and return to us by mail.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

March workshop with Catherine Devine and Lorna Garton

Guild members and instructors Catherine Devine and Lorna Garton taught us Flo Hoppe's Octogonal Flower Basket made with round reed. The beautiful and challenging base pattern took some time but all of our bases turned out nicely. We'll finish the basket next month.