1. The weave of basket work is the inspiration behind basket woven textiles.

2. A woven container made for carrying, often with handles, from a variety of willows and rushes according to local environment and designated use. Basket-making is a globally occurring craft, particularly still in rural communities, where on either sides of a village street you may see local ladies and men in their doorways, making baskets for themselves and for tourists.

* I live close to the Somerset levels, in Engalnd, where the grasslands were once sea water surrounding the Isle of Avalon,  and where hand woven baskets remains an important local industry. Here we use ‘withies’,  from osiers, the willows that grow along the rines–the water control mechanism. Trees are annually pollarded to produce new young, fine shoots perfect for binding and manipulating.

* Baskets are hold-alls, lightweight enough to carry over an arm, to fit on cycles, to lift on and off shelves and to generally manage any manner of moving and storage. Used for the daily shop, for gardening, picnic goods, hotel laundry, to box gifts, fishing kits, party hampers, to take the cat to the vet and to hold toys, logs, plants, clothes and everything else under the sun.

*As an open, self ventilated material, basketwork is eminently suitable for food covers, as wind breaks for door and window screens, as light security, to filter sunlight and breeze, for garden furniture – and may be woven in a specific design as lobster pots.

*Sculptors and artists using cane and other materials in traditional basket making techniques are currently transforming the way we think of basket work–a whole new level of design possibility has opened up. How can this not be exciting?

” I shall continue to look at twigs and scanning the hedgerows until the day I die “

Lizzie Farley


see spotlight articles – 1. Somerset levels 2. Lizzie Farley

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