Working collaboratively from their home studio in Worcestershire, Sarah Loughlin and Marcus Wootton create a range of functional and contemporary baskets.
The name Hopewood pays tribute to the natural materials we use within our work, and celebrates the hopeful experience that making gives us. Weaving using both locally-grown and Somerset willow, we enjoy bringing nature into new homes and hands, to enrich living spaces and enliven everyday tasks.
Sarah divides her time between making baskets for our online shop and stockists, and sharing her knowledge through tuition and workshops.
Sarah previously spent ten rewarding years teaching which she was keen to bring to her own business Hopewood . as much as she loves creating and making in the studio she is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and skills and the rich experience and benefits of weaving away the day...
Making things has been the thread running through Sarah's life, early years spent painting, art GCSE ALevel, Canterbury, teaching art in schools, and now basketry. knitting
You'll find Marcus either in the workshop carving or photographing and editing.
Before Hopewood Marcus bought, restored, photographed and then sold antiques. Photography taught him to look at things, handling and restoring things from the past taught him how they were made. They don't make them like they used to. Marcus is keen to create things that are built to last, made responsibly and sustainably, with care and attention and craftspersonship in opposition to the throwaway culture we are all too familiar with.
Woodwork runs in Marcus' family, his father turned bowls and he still has his Grandfather's adze - one old tool he's restored (and still uses) but certainly wouldn't sell.
All the materials we use come from nature
The baskets we create are made from basketry grade willow grown in Worcestershire and Somerset.
Weaving with different varieties of willow gives us a wonderful range of natural colours to choose from and use within our work.
Locally sourced wood is used to create structural elements and to make handles for our baskets.
Our making process begins at the design stage, deciding on shape, size, weaving patterns and colour.
We then spend time sorting the willow, as a range of different length willow rods are needed for a single basket, as well as different thicknesses. Basketry willow is dried before use, so it must be soaked before weaving to make it pliable again. The soaking process can take up to a fortnight before the willow is ready to use. When the willow is ready, we begin weaving!
For more details.... (link....notebook)