The first RushWorks Harvest: the River Stour, Hammoon, North Dorset









Bundles of rushes drying in the RushWorks workshop at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, North Dorset

Experiments with plaiting and twisting rush

A selection of baskets made by weaving around wooden blocks or other formers or by plaiting or twisting




































Rush envelope, from a design created by Tim Johnson


Twisted rush to be sewn together to form a basket.


Plaited rush mat


Rush hat with raffia bow

Weaving and plaiting baskets with the help of a rush threader or curved needle












Workshops held at Gold Hill Organic Farm and other venues




The Balsam Centre – 2009




Dorset Wildlife Trust staff at Brooklands Farm, Forston, 2013








The Larmer Tree Festival, 2010 – rush bracelets and dragonflies workshop




The Larmer Tree festival, 2014 – ‘Tree-mendous plaits’, Adornable Art workshop














Projects with schools/children

Canford School VI form project, 2008 – weaving a water vole








Plaited rush toy horse




Toy figures from twisted rush




St Nicholas CE VA Primary School, Child Okeford, 2007 – skipping ropes from twisted and knotted rush




Bracelets with ribbon and sweet wrappers




Cheselbourne Village School, 2007 – animal figures




Larmer Tree Festival, 2015, Childen’s ‘Hands-On’ workshop ‘Festival Friends’ – rush figures




Semley CE VA Primary School, 2007 – plaited rush mat




Larmer Tree Festival , 2012, ‘Adornable Art’ workshop – rush headband with flowers




Bryanston School, 2009 – Year 9, project twisting and plaiting




St John’s CE First School, Wimborne, 2010 – dragonfly: wood, willow, wire-netting and rush




Canford School, 2007 – rush boat




Canford School, 2007 - rush baskets and matting




Dorset County Show, 2010, making rush dragonflies








Larmer Tree Festival, 2012 - Wild Woman arch: rush, hazel, willow, dock & raffia




Rushwork history


Rushwork class, Blandford St Mary, 1912




Plaited log basket made in Marnhull, North Dorset, in the 1950s and still in use




Traditonal plaited workman’s basket or frail, in use in the 1920s, Sherborne Museum, Dorset




Farm labourer with frail (Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading)




Woman from Somerset making rush baskets (Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading)




Rush mattress, 17th or 18th C, Dorchester Museum, Dorset




Article about the history of rushcutting and rushwork in Wimborne, published in Dorset Life magazine, 1992