Canes

Basket Making

We produce our own range of basketware including traditional coracles. All are hand-made, using traditional methods that have changed little in hundreds if not thousands of years.

Basket weaving is one of very few genuinely "green" manufacturing processes remaining today.

Robert Johnson at work Robert Johnson at work in our Bangor-on-Dee workshop.

In addition to a large range of standard basketwork products, we can also accept special orders for bespoke basketware to customers' requirements, including copies of antique items. We have made everything from needlework baskets to hot air balloon baskets and even basketwork motorcycles, so if you have any unusual requirements, please don't assume that we can't do it!

We can also repair and restore damaged or worn basketwork items and chair seats in cane, rush or seagrass.

Please call to discuss your requirements or for more details.

Special-order customers include Chirk Castle, Erddig Hall and Theatre Clwyd.

Demonstrations for coach parties

Demonstrations of the fascinating art of basket weaving are available by prior arrangement. See the panel on the right of this page for details.

Chirk Castle laundry

Chirk Castle laundry

Our wicker baskets in the laundry and servants' quarters at Chirk Castle, a local National Trust property.

The Basket Making process

A bundle of willow
The raw material - a bundle of willow

Basketry, basket weaving, basketwork or wickerwork involves the weaving of supple willow stems into sturdy baskets and other products. In general, no other materials are used in the construction.

Although wood and metal reinforcements and adornments can be added if required, for most products, sufficient strength can be achieved by the skilful use of the willow itself.

Baskets of all sizes
A range of baskets on display in our showroom

The strength and versatility of wicker products

The wicker basket is one of those everyday products that we all tend to take for granted, without giving much thought to how they are manufactured. This is a pity because the process is one of the few county crafts that have remained unchanged for centuries and still produce products that are viable in the modern world. The versatility of items that can be produced is amazing, from sowing baskets to baskets for carrying the crew and passengers of hot-air balloons. In between there is a vast array of practical containers and decorative items.

Ken Griffiths
Ken Griffiths

Tools and Equipment

Virtually unchanged for hundreds of years, the tools and equipment used for basket making are very basic. There is no automation and no machine tools are used.

Here's a basic list of tools:

Technical Terms

More about our the products of our basket making on the wickerwork products page

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Basket Making demonstrations for coach parties

Demonstrations of the fascinating art of basket making are available all year round for coach parties by prior arrangement. Tea and coffee available.

Call us on 01978 780781 for further details or to book

We recommend combining your visit with a lunch at The Buck House Hotel or the Royal Oak pub, Bangor on Dee, both just a few hundred yards from our showroom.

The Buck House Hotel

The Buck House Hotel, Bangor on Dee

The Buck House Hotel website

The Royal Oak public house

The Royal Oak, Bangor on Dee

The Royal Oak website

Pictures by Oraica Ltd


OPENING HOURS

Mon - Sat
9.00am - 5.00pm

Sundays & Bank Holidays
11.00am - 4.00pm


Bundles of willow in our workshop read to be woven into basketwork products


More about our the products of our basket making on the Wickerwork Products page


An article about J Johnson and Son and our traditional basket making on the Leader newspaper website