All the materials we use come from nature


The baskets we create are made from basketry grade willow, sourced from a range of suppliers across England. We use a whole host of different willow varieties to create baskets with subtle blends of colours, or bold contrasts! All the willow shows off its natural colour. Most of the baskets we create use 'brown' willow, which is willow with the bark left on. 'Brown' willow comes in many varieties and therefore lots of beautiful natural colours ranging from purple, red and orange, to yellow, green and indeed brown! I occasionally add white and buff willow, which is when the bark is taken off. I also steam 'brown' willow, which gives a darker shade of the same natural colour.



My making process begins at the design stage, deciding on shape, size, weaving patterns and colour. I 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.


After taking it out of the soaking tank, it must be 'mellowed' overnight  (or longer), which involves wrapping the willow in a damp cloth to allow the water to soak into the inner core of the rods. 


When the willow is ready, I begin weaving! I use a method and style of willow basketry known as 'stake and strand', meaning I start weaving the base of the basket first, which looks much like a spider's web! I then add the uprights (stakes) to the base before bending these up to create a birdcage shape. I can then begin weaving between the stakes, creating the sides, then move onto weaving the border and adding a handle if required.