I had the opportunity to have a go at basket weaving the other weekend. Our instructor Pino, has been doing this for over 30 years and attends many trade events in France, Italy and the rest of Europe.
We started with these raw materials.
The basic technique was quite straight-forward and we used wet willow of different thicknesses and colours. We used thick ones for the base which starts off as a cross of 3 thick strands in each direction. This then gets spread into a disc and the weaving begins. Eventually you end up with, hopefully, a flat circular base. Mine was flat-ish...
Then you push the thick uprights into the base and tie them in a ponytail after bending them upwards. Once you have started weaving again you can untie the ponytail and continue with the weaving. It now starts to look like a basket. When it gets high enough then you weave the basket edge. Lastly you poke a thick willow in for the handle and use a specific willow to cover the handle and weave the point where it meets the basket to make it firm.
We're still using mine for all the nuisance little things you can never find a place for..