I have been making baskets now for 15 years, and it was an old man called Charlie Danny Gallagher who got me started. He lived (he has passed on now) in Dooey North, Leitirmacaward, in western Donegal, a bachelor with a very simple life. He had been the creel maker in the area, but was too old to keep it going, but he took the time, a little hesitantly at first, to teach me how to make a traditional creel. It was in fact his Sally Garden, or willow beds, which really got me excited. I love trees, and love the fact that you can make a living by working with trees.
So now I still make baskets, and other things with willow. I have been teaching for a dozen years or more. You really have to know how to make a basket to teach someone else! Check out Weaving Courses & News for details of upcoming courses
In September 2009 I was invited to the Green Living Fair at Castle Espie Wildfowl Sanctuary, on the shores of Strangford Lough, Co. Down. I created this corracle from willow, hazel and an old seat from pine. I intend to cover it with a cowhide, and float off into the lough…