Mr. Basketmaker Speaks: Caskets?

The following post is a peculiar subject from Eric, but interesting nonetheless:

Over the years of my travels and teaching, I have had a lot of different questions. Every now and then I hear the one about whether I have woven a coffin before. The answer is “No.” I have never woven a coffin. But I have heard about it being done. Mostly, I hear they make them in England. I did meet someone that had made his father’s coffin out of wicker. I thought that was an incredibly touching act of love. These take many, many hours to make and not everyone is capable.

While looking around the internet, I came across this video. It is part basket, part… well you will see.

Above video is of a basketmaker weaving one a Somerset Willow Coffin. Find them at

13 thoughts on “Mr. Basketmaker Speaks: Caskets?”

  1. Jo, I never heard that story, that is too funny. She was ahead of her time, not that she isn’t still with us or anything.

  2. Awesome video! Years ago, at an Association of Michigan Basketmakers Convention, friends of Dianne Stanton carried her to the podium for her keynote address in a wicker coffin.

  3. While incredibly creepy to think of, the coffin was incredibly beautiful. The hand strength and speed in which that guy wove was really something to watch.

    Thanks for the post, I think! Lol

    1. He does make it look easy. I feel the same way when I watch Eric weave — fast and fluid… like it’s so easy to do. Thanks for reading Joanne and glad you liked this creepy post!!

  4. Lynne,

    Isn’t that a great video on willow coffin making? I also blogged about willow coffin making and Somerset Willow Company back in May of this year. I had the pleasure of meeting the owners and watching the weavers actually making the willow coffins in June 2006 when I was there on a fellowship.

    “Green” coffins are quite the rage in England, the customer is able to get them from many companies and individual basketweavers now, too. Roy Udal (sp?) and Musgrove Willows make them also and teach classes. And some cemetaries are now offering them here in the States.

    Several years ago, I was asked to begin making them and was not in the position to do it at the time, but I’m considering it now. Here’s my blog post from May, enjoy!

    The Wicker Woman-Cathryn Peters

    1. Hi Cathryn! Yes, I read your post back in May. I think I might’ve commented on it too. But Eric is Mr. Basketmaker and when he speaks I post! lol. You should consider making one yourself! That would be some great posts about the whole process!

  5. Eric, I once sold a wicker casket. It came into the shop as a consignment. Not so great for business. karen

    1. I’ll let him know! Was it really bad for business?? You would think it would bring in some interest and word would travel fast about a unique item in a store. It must be different for you “Mainers” up there…

      1. This was one of those times when the concept of *used merchandise* did not conjure the image of a priceless antique. It was a conversation piece. Big smile!

  6. The Vidio is amazing. The weaver makes it look so easy. You can tell he has had a lot of experience weaving coffins. Thank you for posting the vidio. Linda Boyle Gibson, a basketmaker in Bloomington, Indiana used to have a willow coffin in her shop. I don’t remember how she came to have it but it always drew a lot of comments from her customers.

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