I make baskets, coffins, and re-rush chair seats using English willow and rush, some of which is home grown or harvested.
My basketmaking journey began in 2011, when I encountered the work of Lois Walpole, who uses predominantly found and recycled materials in her work. I was fascinated by how basketry was a way to build structures that needed nothing but the material itself. Eventually I came to love the natural materials most of all, especially the traditional English materials of willow and rush. Sustainability and tradition continue to inform my work, as well as a commitment to ongoing learning, because there is always more to learn in this craft.
Basketmakers today work with traditional techniques and contemporary forms to preserve the place of basketry as both aesthetic and functional; harnessing beauty, nature and craftsmanship in an age of mass-produced, disposable plastic vessels.
Hi Emma, Dom P tells me you are about to have a baby (congratulations) but wanted to flag this with you for when you plan to recommence weaving!
I am starting up a funeral director in Heathfield & looking for local willow coffin suppliers. Let us know when you are back in the game!