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I weave contemporary and traditional willow baskets, incorporating other foraged, found and coppiced materials to create baskets that showcase the properties of natural materials.  I seek to show the importance of protecting  living materials and demonstrate their usefulness beyond their living state in the outdoors.  I try to show how craft work can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally protective future.  My work as a Social and Therapeutic Horticulture practitioner has influenced how I now teach willow weaving and basketry, using the craft to promote wellbeing and therapeutic practices.  My basketry and weaving workshops are designed to encourage the practice of slow and meaningful craftwork and I deliver workshops throughout East Anglia.

Basketry became a way for me to relax and empty my head and I quickly became fascinated with the huge variety of baskets being made around the world.  The meditative nature of weaving forces me to concentrate on what is in my hands and not be distracted by all the other things my mind could wander to.

As I read more about the history and development of basketry, I started to understand why it was meaningful to me.  The social history attached to the baskets and the people making them, is part of our heritage and deserves to be preserved.  Learning and passing on these skills is an important part of my work and I hope, contributes to a more sustainable future.

The process of weaving a basket starts with growing the materials.  It is an investment of time and energy that eventually results in a basket.  I started growing my own willows in 2018 and now have 40 varieties of basketry willow.

 

The cycle of growing  the materials allows me to work outside and observe how the willow grows and supports wildlife.  The amazing thing about willow is that at every stage of its growth it is beneficial.  Willow provides habitat, food, fuel, medicine, increases biodiversity and soil health... all before it is woven into a basket!  

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