***UPDATE!! I hope you don't mind but I'm away on holiday just now. All orders placed during this time will be dispatched on Monday 5th October 2020. Apologies for any inconvenience!! ***


John Cowan's baskets are all handmade by John in his small workshop in Lanark using UK-grown willows and occasionally Hazel. Most of the willow John uses is unstripped so the natural and varied colours of willow bark, as well as its ephemeral fragrance are features of his baskets. 

John produces custom made baskets and reproduces many old basket standard designs that were once commonplace in agriculture and the UK fishing industry, but now can be used domestically as sturdy log baskets or attractive quality storage baskets. Besides making traditional basket designs, when available John can undertake commissions of made-to-measure & bespoke pieces.

John Cowan began making baskets aged 25 years. John has spent a considerable amount of time learning traditional basket making skills with Colin Manthorpe in Norfolk and Virgilijus Bauzys in West Kilbride after attaining a grounding in the craft from Geoff Forrest. John has had many inspirational basket encounters with basket maker and artist Lise Bech and Lise has contributed greatly to John’s understanding of willow and making a living from basketry. Many of the designs John makes are based on those recorded in Colin Manthorpe's notebooks. John is grateful to Colin for inviting him to his home in Norfolk to learn the traditional method of making the Quarter Cran and for so generously sharing his vast skill & knowledge of basket making. John continued to spend time each year training with Colin up until Colin's death in 2019

 John is a member of The Basketmakers Association & The Scottish Basketmakers' Circle & The Heritage Crafts Association 

John & Colin Manthorpe
Quarter Cran Herring Basket (made here in buff willow, oak, hazel and rattan cane)