Bending the Sally

Documentary, Irish Culture
Directed by:
Roy Spence
Produced by:
Gothic Films


7 mins

In this documentary by Roy Spence, willow weaver Alison Fitzgerald takes the viewer through the labour intensive process of weaving a ciseog from willow rods, from her workshop Greenwood Baskets in Loughgall. A ciseog is a type of basket that is traditionally used for straining potatoes. From the cutting of the willow rods to the intricate weaving of the sally rods, we are treated to a brief history of a craft and tradition that’s admired all over the world.

Roy Spence is an award-winning amateur filmmaker. For the past 50 years, Spence has been making and screening a series of remarkable and sometimes eccentric films in his cinema in Comber, Co. Down. The films span many genres from sci-fi to horror to folk-life documentaries shot between 1965 and 1986. His collection of over 40 films (13 documentaries/non-fiction and 29 fiction feature films) is held and preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive. To watch more of the Roy Spence Collection click here.