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Steen Madsen

Ringsted, Denmark
North House Folk School photo of instructor, Steen Madsen

Steen Madsen discovered basket making through his early love of old handcrafts such as Stone Age flint knapping, rope making, hide tanning, and wood carving. In 1979, he was introduced to basket making while working with 7500-year-old Danish Stone Age eel traps made of willow. Soon he was growing his own willow and teaching workshops in basket making.

For the last 25+ years, he has been a full time basket maker, growing willow, teaching basket making, educating three apprentices, and weaving baskets. Much of his weaving work is for museums, film and theatre productions, and for artists. Steen has written two books about basket making: Flet med Pil, a beginner book and Basket with Corners about square basket work.

He is an avid collector of old baskets and his collection of several hundreds extends from 1840-1965. This is all part of his searching for knowledge about the cultural history of baskets and basket making, which could lead to his third book. When he’s not in the willow world he goes fly fishing or swing dancing.

Current Courses Offered by Steen Madsen

3 Days
Teaser image for Advanced Willow Basketry: Rectangles and Fitching

Advanced Willow Basketry: Rectangles and Fitching

For students who are confident with the basic stake and strand form and ready to move on, we welcome Steen Madsen of Denmark to teach two challenging willow techniques: the rectangular basket and an ’open work’ technique called fitching. Students will choose which project they prefer to focus on, but…
Sat, Sep 26th, 2020  –  Mon, Sep 28th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Steen Madsen
4 Days
Teaser image for Willow Exploration Extravaganza

Willow Exploration Extravaganza

Over the course of the last 7,000 years, humans have figured out a lot of things to make with willow. From eel traps to hot air balloon baskets, this pliable and abundant material has served humanity well. Explore a wide variety of projects with international guest instructor Steen Madsen of…
Mon, Sep 14th, 2020  –  Thu, Sep 17th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Steen Madsen
3 Days
Teaser image for Willow Fishing Creel, Backpack, or Bike Basket

Willow Fishing Creel, Backpack, or Bike Basket

The fishing creel is a classic willow project, but let’s be honest: not many of us are wandering down to the local river banks to try our luck with fishing creels anymore. Fear not: this project is really a bag that hangs from the shoulder, attractive and convenient for many…
Tue, Sep 22nd, 2020  –  Thu, Sep 24th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Steen Madsen