Baskets Course - feedback. Tutor: John Waller

General comments:

“Loved it! A great group of people in the class, very friendly. Really enjoyed learning a new skill, and was impressed with the baskets that everyone made which I put down to John being a great teacher. Thanks to John for a great course. I would definitely be interested in doing the improvers course in the future. I posted a photo on my Facebook page as I was very proud of my basket and the feedback was great. I would definitely recommend this course.” Lydia 2015

“I really enjoyed the course.  John was very adaptable, helpful and encouraging.  I was actually quite surprised by what we managed to produce over the weekend.” Tali 2015

“The course was really enjoyable with patient and good humoured instruction in a lovely setting. The balance between showing us all aspects of the basket we were attempting to make and letting us go at our own pace was excellent and it was lovely to watch John make baskets alongside us to see how it should be done.” Laura 2014

“Great Fun with a lovely group of people from mixed background and ages. This was my second course with the Underwoodsman team and John demonstrated once again his depth of knowledge and experience & ensured the whole group was able to progress to the point of producing a finished and recognisable attempt at a basket, with some of the group showing a real flair.” Andy 2014

“I thought that the course was very good and am pleased with your patience with myself and Pat, I would like to express my keenness to attend  other course in the future and would like to remain on your mailing  list. Once again many thanks for all you endeavours.” Mick 2013

On a personal note I had a very enjoyable weekend and I have taken no small amount of satisfaction in the positive reactions I’ve had from family and friends about my basket. I only hope that my future attempts are half as good. It was a great introduction to basket weaving and gave me a set of skills and understanding that I will be able to carry forward and use for my own projects at home. Over the weekend John mentioned he might be able to source a starter kit/bundle as well as a possible 2 day hedgerow basket course. I am very interested in both and would  appreciate any further information you might have .” Victoria 2013

This was my second basketry course with John and again found his  teaching methods and reminders invaluable as I am prone to forgetting  important techniques and tips to avoid disasters. There was a  good atmosphere amongst the class despite it becoming clear that one  particular lady was struggling to come to terms with the need to apply  more finger pressure that she was able to give due to her arthritic  fingers. I think John coped sympathetically with that tricky situation  (and at least she came away with something to show for her efforts) with a little help! Look forward to attending another type of course with John next year “ Richard 2013

I thought the two day course was excellent. John is a great teacher and his passion for willow enlivens the whole experience! I took some willow away with me hoping to start on a small  basket but found it hard to get going.  It would be great if John could  put some clips on to start off etc etc...I think film  students from Univeristy of the Creative Arts in Farnham would love the  experience of filming him. By the way, that's how I find the course - through  a youtube clip! I would like to hear about further courses I can take.....many thanks” Lynda 2013

“We really enjoyed the weekend and were very impressed with the new facilities.  Can’t wait to come back for more!
We had an absolutely fab time, notwithstanding the fact that I was in the throes of a horrible cold. We both love our baskets!! both sitting very proudly beside the fire looking handsome. Please pass on our thanks to John again, especially for putting up with the puppy.
Actually, if there are still spaces, could we book onto the September course? - I'd like to go over it all again before I forget, and have another go.” Clair and Rob 2011

“Impressive results – I am very proud of my first basket – sign of a good teacher! Patient and with a nice sense of humour” Julie 2011

I really, really enjoyed the courses – John inspired both Wendy + me + we haven’t stopped weaving yet!”  Kate 2011

I’ll definitely be back for another course – and my husband now has the bug and is booking onto a Green Wood course!!!” Sarah, 2011

“Good sense of humour!! He needs it!!” David & Gwenyth 2012

“Course as expected, I learnt a lot in a a very short time but would probably have wanted a third day to re-practice methods.” Nicola  2012

we had a good time at basketry course and found it very enjoy able and leant alot,we hope to come again”
Jane, 2012

: I really enjoyed the course.  I was really pleased that I managed to make such a large basket, as I wanted to do a log basket for home.  I hope I can remember enough to make a couple of waste-baskets which are needed too. I want to go again.  I wish I could keep going until I can remember how to do it without having to refer to a book but if wishes were horses we would all ride. Thanks, John, it was lovely to meet you, and Arthur” Jenny 2013


How did you rate the marketing of the course?
accurate (17 reviews)

How would you rate the booking process?
excellent (15 reviews)
satisfactory (2 reviews)

Did you receive enough information about the course before the day?
Yes (15 reviews)
No (3 reviews)
(we have now amended our joining instructions for this course to advise participants to bring their own secateurs and pen-knife)

Did the course meet your expectations, based on the pre-course information and marketing?
Yes (18 reviews)

Did you think the price of the course was reasonable?
About right (14 reviews)
Too Cheap (1 review)
“add on a tenner, and no one would mind” (1 review)
Too Expensive (1 review)

Did you think the group size was appropriate?
About right (17 reviews)

How would you rate the venue/facilities?
Excellent (17 reviews)
Satisfactory (1 review) - not as much character as the workshop, but clearly very functional, like a classroom

How would you rate the tutor?
 (13 reviews)
Informative     9.98/10
Approachable  9.87/10
Friendly  9.85/10
Supportive  9.85/10
Understanding of different abilities and needs  9.85/10
Tolerant   9.98/10

Would you come on another course in the future?
 Yes (16 reviews)

Would you like to see any changes to the course, facilities, or teaching?
- No, I thought it was great.
- No, although some kind of follow up course/basketry evening sessions or something would help me go further with it.  Another suggestion is to have a handout covering the weaves we used to make our baskets as a memory aid to make another, as doing it once isn't usually enough I find.

- It would have been useful if the joining instructions had said that we should bring a knife - if I’d known it would be useful, I would also have brought a spray
- I think it would be a good idea for John to sell some of the basic tools (bodkins etc) + some of the more instructional books e.g. Willow Work by Mary Butcher [copies of Mary Butcher’s book are now held in stock, and available to buy]
- Sell basic instruction books on the course or give handouts with diagrams. Hard to remember what we did when you do something for the first time. [copies of Mary Butcher’s book are now held in stock, and available to buy]
- A few copies of suitable diagrams might be helpful
- John should bring items that students could buy (we discussed this on the course!)  good business opportunity for  John, and relevant and handy for the students….(Mary Butcher sells her books and some tools on her courses!) [copies of Mary Butcher’s book are now held in stock, and available to buy]
The course itself though is just ideal – good pace, well explained and relaxed and good fun.
-  Maybe a longer course to try out the methods more fully, time seemed to fly by.
- I think John might have been a little more assertive/directive/hands-on about letting us choose the type and thickness of willow, since I made things more difficult for myself by being over-ambitious.  I coped, but in the early stages, one was rather in the dark about the implications of those choices.
- Buying a stock of the Mary Butcher book to sell on the course (or include in the cost) (and at shows) would be a very good thing.  The course is quite incomplete without written notes as I think we all need them to be able to have a go on our own.  The other rarer book was of course better but I understand the supply issues; if it is ever reprinted, buying a stock would be a good investment.  [copies of Mary Butcher’s book are now held in stock, and available to buy]
-  I realise supplying material for all the students to take home would be too difficult, but a leaflet with recommended websites and, perhaps, a suggestion for a good selection for a beginner to buy would be helpful.  Having had a quick look, I think this would be about 40-worth.

Did you book overnight accommodation on site?
1 Review - “Yes (Small Barn – Bore Place). It was fabulous, peaceful, beautiful building and surroundings.”
1 Review - “We stayed in our motorhome in the car park. Did not know that calving was going on at this time of year , not too much of a problem though.”
1 Review - “Yes - Stayed in Chiddington with Ann Gilbert.  Beautiful house, lovely lady and a great stay.”
1 Review - “
the ability to erect a tent round the back out of the way is a  real treat and useful to then learn techniques that have been taught during the day“