My fascination with basketry was sparked off by a Japanese bamboo basket I was given by my in-laws. They knew I was interested in Japan, but I had no knowledge about Japanese baskets.
Eager to learn more, I attended a talk on Japanese baskets at the Japan Society in 2018. The speaker Joe Earle showed some photos of work by Iizuka Rokansai – free-flowing sculptural pieces that were very different from the brown shoppers I associated with the word “basket”.
A few months later I happened upon a display of random weave baskets at City Lit, promoting an upcoming basketry course. I signed up on the spot. A couple of short courses later, I embarked on the two-year course in creative basketry, which finished in July 2022.
I previously sold felted and upcycled textiles, so my preference is for softer fibres, which lend themselves to techniques such as twining and coiling. These techniques are rather slow, but I find them quite meditative.
In my former life I was a journalist and editor, working for the British Medical Journal, the British Council, and Which? magazine. I am also a freelance web developer.
I am a member of Prism, International Feltmakers Association, and the Basketmakers’ Association and edit the BA’s 68-page Journal, which is published three times a year. I am listed in the Crafts Council Directory.
I also teach basketry at Morley College in London.