The Guild of Straw Craftsmen - Resources

a Corn Dolly in the shape of an Ankh

"Ankh"
Worked and Photographed
by Ruth Wylie

Books, Materials, Equipment and Courses

This page contains information for both beginners and the more advanced worker.

Please mention the Guild of Straw Craftsmen web site if you buy any item or make a booking on any courses you have seen on our web site.

Item 1 Books
Item 2 Other Publications
Item 4 Straw
Item 5 Equipment
Item 5 Corn Dolly Makers


Books

Swiss straw work based upon a bridal bouquet

"Bridal Bouquet"
Worked and Photographed
by Janet Twigger

Here are some books that would be useful to beginners and advanced workers.

A Handful of Straw
A Handful of Straw book cover
The Corn Dolly Newsletter Team

Paperback / Published 1995 / ISBN 0 9525464 0 X

Suitable for both beginners and advanced workers alike. Written by some of the best practitioners of straw craft and writers of the Corn Dolly Newsletter. It has very clear instructions and diagrams.

Complete Book of Straw Craft and Corn Dollies : Techniques and Projects
Complete Book of Straw Craft and Corn Dollies : Techniques and Projects book cover
Doris Johnson and Alec Coker

Paperback / Published 1987 / ISBN 0 486 25249 3

This book is both a reference book and instruction book. If you want to know how to make a plait this book will show you.

Golden Stalks made into Corn Dollies
Golden Stalks made into Corn Dollies  book cover
Christina Best

Paperback / Published 2007 / Self published

Intended as an introduction to straw work. It has 28 pages in A5 format, with illustrations in black and white and colour. The price is £4.99 with £1.00 for postage (overseas postage will be extra). If you would like a copy please write to her:


Mrs Christina Best,
Sunnyside
Criggan, Nr Bugle,
St. Austell, Cornwall PL26 8QX

Discovering Corn Dollies
Discovering Corn Dollies book cover
M. Lambeth

Paperback / First Published 1974 by Shire Publications / ISBN 0 85263 283 5
No. 199 in the "Discovering" Series

This book is part reprint of A Golden Dolly: The Art, Mystery and History of Corn Dollies (see below).

Swiss Straw Work: Techniques of a Fashion Industry
Swiss Straw Work: Techniques of a Fashion Industry book cover
Veronica Main

Paperback / Published 2003 / ISBN 0 9541795 0 1
Published in German in 2004 as Zauberhaftes Stroh / ISBN 9541795 1 x

This is THE definitive book on Swiss Straw work. Both the writer and illustrator (Gillian Nott) are City and Guilds medallists in straw work so they have the practical as well as subject knowledge. Every motif (more than 120) is described in fine detail and the working diagrams are easy to follow. The book is well structured; it builds on the basic technique for the different elements and moves effortlessly into the more advanced techniques.

Details: Main Collins Publishing, PO Box 926, High Wycombe, HP15 7ZQ
Telphone / Fax: 01494 714141
Email: mcpublishing@aol.com

German edition details: Freiämter Strohmuseum, Kirchenplatz, 5610 Wohlen, Switzerland
Email: Strohmuseum@wohlen.ch

The Book of Wheat Weaving and Straw Craft: From Simple Plaits to Exquisite Designs
The Book of Wheat Weaving and Straw Craft: From Simple Plaits to Exquisite Designs book cover
Morgyn Geoffry Owens-Celli

Hardcover / Published March 1997 / Publisher: Lark Books / ASIN 1 887 37420 5
Paperback / Published August 1998 / Publisher: Sterling Publications / ISBN: 1 579 90078 X

This book is full of projects for both modern and traditional designs. Full colour photographs and black and white illustrations help you create some stunning designs.

An Introduction to Swiss Straw work
An Introduction to Swiss Straw work book cover
Peter Shelley

Soft cover

Project based, so that each new skill is immediately used to produce a finished item; this is like having a private tutor. Easy to follow instructions, backed up with diagrams and photographs; guide the beginner through the techniques of Swiss Straw work. Working through the book you can progress from a simple greetings card to a stunning vase of straw flowers. A comprehensive list of contents makes it easy to use as a reference book too.

£5.00 plus postage

Obtainable from P Shelley, 82 Manor Rise, Chasetown, BURNTWOOD, Staffordshire.WS7 4TS

Tel. 01543 676826 Email

Straw Marquetry for Beginners
Straw Marquetry for Beginners book cover
Peter Shelley

Soft cover

This is a project based book. As each skill is taught it can be put to immediate use. The first 11 pages form a comprehensive introduction, easy to use as a reference tool. Then different styles of marquetry are taught with clear instructions and illustrations. All the patterns you need to complete the projects are included at the end of the book.

£10.00 plus postage

Obtainable from P Shelley, 82 Manor Rise, Chasetown, BURNTWOOD, Staffordshire.WS7 4TS

Tel. 01543 676826 Email

easy Straw Work for Christmas
easy Straw Work for Christmas book cover
Elaine Lindsay

Soft cover

If anyone has photos of projects they have made from the book please e mail them to me, I'd love to see them. This book can be used all year round not just for Christmas and I still have a few copies left.

£12.50 plus £3.50 postage

Obtainable from Elaine Lindsay tel. 01467 681330 or Email

The Gleam of Straw
The Gleam of Straw book cover
Anne Dyer

Soft cover

So where is this craft going?..................... we shouldn't let the history close our minds to the much wider possibilities of the material and therefore of the craft." Reading this book will open your eyes and your mind. It has practical advice and information and a wealth of illustrations.

Obtainable from Anne Dyer c/o Westhope Craft College, Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 9JL

tel. 01584 861293

a Corn Dolly shaped like a fan

"Marches Fan"
Worked and Photographed
by Antony Gay

Books Out Of Print:

These books are out of print but are worth searching for:

Decorative Straw Work and Corn Dollies
Decorative Straw Work and Corn Dollies book cover
Lettice Sandford and Philla Davis

published by B. T. Batsford, Ltd. (1964) no ISBN

This is generally still regarded as the definitive book for straw workers.

The Craft of Straw Decoration
The Craft of Straw Decoration book cover
Alec Coker

Hardback / First Published 1971 by The Dryad Press / ISBN 0 85219 078 6

Alec Coker was a BBC Outside Broadcast engineer before becoming a teacher and maker of Corn Dollies. He was the first editor of the Corn Dolly Newsletter (with Janet Twigger as secretary, the post she still holds) but sadly died before the founding of the Guild of Straw Craftsmen.

Like all books on straw craft this book is aimed at the craftsperson with projects on straw stars and marquetry as well as Corn Dollies.

The Art of Weaving Corn Dollies
The Art of Weaving Corn Dollies book cover
Stephen J. Reid

Paperback / Published 1976 as part of the Leisure Series by Lutterworth Press /
ISBN 0 7188 7004 2

A Golden Dolly: The Art, Mystery and History of Corn Dollies
A Golden Dolly: The Art, Mystery and History of Corn
          Dollies book cover
M. Lambeth

Hardback / First Published 1969 by John Baker (Publishers) Ltd / ISBN 0 212 98365 2

This was the first book I bought about Straw Craft and is one of my favourites. It is an excellent book with lots of good information and many anecdotes relating to the growing of corn, the varieties to use, plaiting tips, the makers and village life.

The book touches Harvest Customs, German Stars, Straw Hats and Straw Marquetry as well as Corn Dollies.

Interestingly Minnie takes time to say who or where she got her information and acknowledges the source of designs, pictures and information.

Straw Work and Corn Dollies
Straw Work and Corn Dollies book cover
Lettice Sandford

Hardback / First Published 1974 by Batsford Books / ISBN 0 7134 2874 0

Lettice Sandford was one of the great exponents of straw craft in the modern age. She gave talks to Women's Institutes as well as organising courses at her home at Eye Manor in Herefordshire. Many Guild members attended her courses and remember them with great affection. After her death her large collection of straw work was given to the Hereford Museum so that it could be displayed for the benefit of others.

The book has very clear instructions with lots of diagrams and photographs.

Your Book of Corn Dollies
Your Book of Corn Dollies book cover
Joan Rendell

Hardback / Published 1976 by Faber and Faber / ISBN 0 571 10841 5

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Other Publications

The Guild News
a montage of pages fron the Guild News

Some of the many features found in the Guild News

The Corn Dolly Newsletter book cover The Guild News is the magazine for members of the Guild of Straw Craftsmen. Issued twice a year, it has been published since the Guild was formed in 1989. It contains a great variety of articles on all aspects of straw craft, and also keeps members fully informed of courses and events, awards, items for sale, new publications, and much more.

Details of how to apply for membership of the Guild can be found on the Membership Details page.

The Corn Dolly Newsletter
a Corn Dolly in the based upon a horse decoration

"Bygones"
Worked and Photographed
by Janet Twigger

This photograph appeared on the cover of the first Corn Dolly Newsletter

The Corn Dolly Newsletter book cover The Corn Dolly Newsletter (issued twice a year) has been published for over 20 years. Articles cover all aspects of straw work from profiling straw workers to ideas for designs (for both beginners and advanced workers). This magazine is always searching for new techniques and styles. Swiss Straw Work was introduced to people outside Switzerland by the CDN team.

For more details and subscriptions to the Corn Dolly Newsletter contact

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Straw

a picture of corn stooks in Cornwall

"Dicks Field"
Photographed
by Andrew Nott

Elaine Lindsay
Something Corny, Rowan Cottage, Inveramsay, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, AB51 5DQ. Tel. 01467 681330

Something Corny supply Dyed Straws, Bleached Straws and Natural Straws. These items are available by post from Elaine Lindsay.
Elaine is a member of the Guild and is experienced in many aspects of straw craft.

Rosemary Sault
85 Lightwood Road, Yoxall, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire DE13 8QE. Tel. 01543 472629

Rosemary grows wheat, oats and rye, here's what she says about her straw:

WHEAT

  • Maris Widgeon: a thin walled, pale straw with large white ears. The straw is medium length and is suitable for all types of straw work.

OATS

  • Golden ears are good for decoration and floral displays, whilst the straw is suitable for marquetry.

RYE

  • The straw is long, and hollow. It is excellent for straw marquetry. As the rye so tall it is cut by hand whilst it is still green and then dried. This means that some of the straws are pale green and some are shades of golden yellow.

Rosemary sells prepared straws in multiples of 100 (400, 800 and 1,000 are the most popular multiples). Buying prepared straws takes away the drudgery of preparing your own straw and having to clean up afterwards.

Due to the size of sheaves postage is expensive but sheaves can be collected but it is important that you contact her beforehand to arrange collection.

Rosemary is a member of the Guild.

You can read all about growing and preparing straw here

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Equipment

Elaine Lindsay
Something Corny, Rowan Cottage, Inveramsay, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, AB51 5DQ. Tel. 01467 681330

Something Corny supply Plastic Straw Splitters, Star Frames and Instruction Books. These items are available by post from Elaine Lindsay.
Elaine is a member of the Guild and is experienced in many aspects of straw craft.

a box decorated with straw marquetry

"Marquetry Box"
Worked by Gillian Nott
Photographed by Veronica Main

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Corn Dolly Makers

Are you looking for a corn dolly for a special occasion? Do you need a large exhibition piece?

We have skilled straw workers amongst our membership, who can make anything from a small item to a large commission.

Our corn dollies are produced from the very finest straw, and made with great care and accuracy. From old and traditional favourites to innovative modern designs, our craftsmen are happy to discuss your requirements.

 

Name Area Contact Details
Carol Attewell Leicester  

Please telephone 0116 2558854

 

Janet Baddiley Powys, Wales  

Visit her website: Fire and Fibre
or email

 

Christina Best Cornwall  

Sunnyside,
Criggan,
St. Austell,
Cornwall PL26 8QX

Telephone: 01726 891105

Visit her web site: Corn Dolly Work

or email

 

Maddy Clark Carmarthen,
Wales
 

Maddy`s Corn Dollies.

Telephone: 01558 668 512

Visit her web site: Maddy`s Corn Dollies

or email

 

Florence Cross Oxford  

Telephone: 01869 347165

 

Elaine Lindsay Aberdeenshire
Scotland
 

Something Corny
Rowan Cottage,
Inveramsay,
Inverurie.
Aberdeenshire AB51 5DQ

Telephone: 01467 681330

Visit her web site: Something Corny

or email

 

Tom and Elizabeth Mizon Cambridge  

For Corn Dollies and also fantastic straw animals to top a thatched roof.

For details visit their web site: The Straw Store

 

Jackie Payne Kent  

Telephone: 01227 721716

or email

 

Audrey Rolfe Dorset  

Telephone: 01308 427832
or email

As well as an accomplished corn dolly maker, Audrey specialises in straw jewellery.

For details visit their web site: Corn Dolly Craft

 

Glynn Wells Sutton Coldfield  

Telephone: 0121 3543881

  • 35 years experience of all traditional designs.
  • Sales and/or group tuition available on request.

 

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