Sophie Rochester is the CEO and Founder at Yodomo, an online learning platform which offers courses in traditional making such as bookbinding, embroidery, spoon carving, sugarcraft and macramé.
She is listed as one of the Top 10 Creative Entrepreneurs in the UK by the British Council and in the UK’s Top 100 ‘most influential and innovative’ in the Guardian Professional’s hClub 100 list.
Since 2017, Yodomo has been working with artists, craftspeople and designer-makers and helping them to share their skills and techniques through online courses. They also sell kits that can be delivered to your own home.
You can choose the skill level required and the kit will provide you with the materials you need to complete your project along with the expertise of online artists and makers to help you through the process.
I have always been an advocate for crafts, art and creativity. It allows you the freedom to express your individuality and achieve your creative potential, improve memory, your mood as well as being a relaxing and satisfying pastime.
Naturally, I could not wait to get started on a kit and chose to make the decorative woven basket by sculptor Julia Clarke.
Julia works with willow, both dried and living, with wire, steel, paper, and ceramic to create sculptures for indoor and outdoor spaces. Natural materials and environmental concerns are an important element of her work and the rhythm of weaving and using tactile materials are important to her process. There is lots of information available about the artists, which I found very inspiring.
Once I had received my kit, I had UNLIMITED ACCESS 24/7 to the course instructions, which allowed me to drop in and out at my own pace and refer back to it at any time.
This course is suitable for complete basket making beginners, and also for those with experience of weaving or working three-dimensionally who would like to learn a new technique or brush up their skills.
During the course, I learnt a traditional Japanese weave called random weaving, this was straight forward to follow and for future use lends itself to many creative possibilities of functional designs or sculptural use.
The kit included all the specialist cane required to make a small to medium sized basket.
8 pieces of approx. 1 – 1.5 metre sections of 5mm glossy lapping cane
Yodomo tote bag
Through the easy-to-follow instructions, photographs and short videos I was guided through each step of Julia’s simple weave’ technique.
In just a few hours my basket was complete. The kit was fun and engaging. Satisfyingly, I had learnt a new skill, which I can use again and had a finished item to proudly display in my home.