Delivery & FAQs
Any basket sold in the online shop is in stock and will be dispatched to you in 1-3 working days - please allow around 5 working days for delivery. Out of stock baskets are marked as 'Sold Out' in the online shop and the website doesn't allow purchases of out of stock items - John will be working on these styles and they will be available online again once he makes more.
Postage to all UK postcodes is £4.95 or £7.95 depending on the size of the basket. If a few baskets are ordered, these often can be combined into one parcel for posting. The appropriate postage cost for your order is calculated automatically during the check out process. The courier services used are Parcelforce 48 or Royal Mail 48 Tracked, both these services are fully tracked and you will be emailled a tracking number when your order is on the way to you.
Postage for many baskets ordered together that can't be combined because the combined volume would be outwith the limit of the carrier's height x girth restrictions will be charged at the appropriate multiple of £7.95. This is calculated automatically during the checkout process.
Can you make baskets to custom made sizes? Usually not, making the range of baskets offered in the online shop is full-time work and more than enough for one man to produce in his working week. John's workshop, and the materials he orders each year, are all geared towards producing his standard and traditional basket designs. Perhaps check out: 'The Basketmakers Association' website Makers Page for a maker for your project.
"I would like to order and basket marked 'out of stock' and I need it in a hurry". This could be impossible. John soaks specific willow 2 weeks in advance. From this, he makes larger baskets first then smaller baskets from the remainder and offcuts. It is through this careful planning and finesse in working efficiently with a natural materials that allows him to carry on in business making labour intensive and entirely handmade basketry products in the 21st century in the UK
Please contact John immediately if you you are having trouble receiving your item or if items have not been delivered as expected. John will do whatever is reasonable to get your item(s) to you as expected.
For international delivery, orders to The Republic of Ireland and many other EU countries can be placed through the online shop and 1 x Euro Priority Express parcel is £15.00. A few mid-size baskets often can be combined into a 1 x Euro Priority Express Parcel and the appropriate shipping cost is calculated during the checkout process. For other European countries please contact me for a shipping quote and an order can be placed via email.
For USA, Canada & Rest of World I recommend first trying to find a suitable basketmaker in your part of the world and North American weavers for example can be found on the NBO website.
Besides the Payment options here on the website, I can also accept BACs direct transfer (please contact me for details), or cheques. If you prefer to use any of these options please contact me via email with details of the baskets you'd like to order and I can email an invoice to you including payment instructions for BACs or cheques.
As John's turnover is less than £85K per year there is no VAT on John Cowan Baskets products.
It is a common request for John to be asked to Repair an old shopping basket handle. If the sides of the old basket are in reasonable condition I can usually repair or replace the handle for you. This work on a typical sized shopping basket is £10. If you are local we can arrange a time for you to drop off your basket. If you are far away, you can post your basket to me (return postage fees will be added to your invoice.) In this case, please send a photo of your basket to me first so I can see if I am able to do the repair.
Can I come round and visit your workshop? Can I come and view and choose? No, this is not possible unfortunately. I don't have public premises and work from home. Basketmaking is all done by hand and therefore time is very precious because it's labour intensive. I am unable to give the time for tidying up for visitors safety, looking out for their arrival and welcoming folk and showing them around. Once my baskets are made for stock they go swiftly to a storage facility as my house is very small. I can welcome either local customers who buy a basket and wish to collect in person or a student wishing 1-to-1 tuition, all by prior arrangement.
Basketmaking Tuition -
I can offer 1-to-1 tuition (which is how I learned basketmaking) in my workshop in Lanark to those who want to improve their weaving or learn a new technique. I am a full-time professional basketmaker who makes many baskets each week. If you are an absolute beginner I suspect my tuition could seem intensive and serious. In this case I recommend some of the more leisurely beginners classes to ease you into the craft - these are listed on the websites of The Basketmakers' Association or The Scottish Basketmakers' Circle. You might still come to me after you have had some experience in the craft. I work in a shed which is cold in the winter and warm in sunny days during the summer. It is small so it may be a bit of a squeeze for two of us working together. All my baskets are made the traditional way on the plank on the floor and this is the only way I teach basketmaking. So, after managing expectations, if you have done some training and are making baskets independently, and are maybe thinking about selling work or are selling already, you will be welcome to arrange a visit for tuition with me. I enjoy sharing my skills and experience and can offer reasonably priced tuition to aspiring weavers. My knowledge and skills are mostly concerned with British methods of basketmaking and I might suggest a suitable traditional basket style for study. Hours would be 9:30 til 4:30pm by arrangement and would cost around £80 per day. I will likely be carrying on with my own work in between instructing and keeping an eye on your work. More intensive tuition would cost around £35.00 per hour.