Bindweed (again!) and cordyline inflorescence

We recently had the fence between our front garden and that of our neighbour replaced, as it was in a sorry state. Sadly, many of the climbers and plants close to the fence did not survive the operation, but it also turned out that our neighbour’s garden was home to an incredible amount of bindweed, […]

5th World Wicker and Weaving Festival

Last week I attended the 5th World Wicker and Weaving Festival in Poznan, Poland. It was held in the cavernous Poznan Expo Centre over four scorchingly hot days, when the external temperature was above 30C. The main highlight was the live weaving competition, where over 130 competitors from around the world had 15 hours over […]

Inspired by Morigami Jin

Sometimes you end up in a completely different destination from where you intended. My idea was to further explore freestyle or irregular plaiting. After my first foray into this technique, I saw some lovely examples of it at the recent Eskenazi exhibition. So I went back to my photos and books on Japanese bamboo art […]

Japanese Aesthetics of Recycling

I have to admit to feeling a bit ambivalent about Japanese boro (mended or patched textiles). They have become incredibly fashionable in the West, presented as abstract art with prices to match. But the rural poor who made them were not making them as art. They made them from necessity, layering and stitching small pieces […]

Foraged fibres course at Morley College

The 10-week “Creative Basketry: Foraged Fibres” course I’ve been teaching at Morley College finished last night with a splendid show and tell session. Seeing all the pieces that the students have created during the course really brought it home – to them as well as me – how much they have progressed during that time. […]

Bamboo masterworks from Japan at the Eskenazi

I’m guessing that last year’s exhibition of Japanese bamboo art at the Eskenazi was a great success, as the gallery is currently showing some more. As the name suggests, Bamboo Masterworks from Japan – Classical to Contemporary includes works by some older masters of the art alongside contemporary artists, some of whom featured in the […]

Collaboration with fashion student

A few months ago I received a message from a student studying fashion at Central St Martins. His name was Oliver Sharpe, he was in his final year, and as part of his show he wanted to include a garment that featured some elements of basketry. Well, of course, I was intrigued, so we had […]

Baskets in Madrid museums

I’m just back from a week’s holiday in Spain, starting in Bilbao and working my way down to Madrid by train and bus. I had less than a day in Madrid, arriving by train in the morning and flying home in the evening, but I managed to visit two museums with interesting baskets in that […]

London Craft Week 2023

London Craft Week is a great opportunity to see wonderful makers from further afield as well as the UK, but the brochure and website are tricky to navigate, and some “events” seem to be simply plugs for luxury brands. This year I made it to three venues. There was lots to see, but here I […]

Warped exhibition by Prism Textiles

The Warped exhibition by Prism Textiles is now in full swing at the Art Pavilion in Mile End, London. At the private view last Wednesday evening Sumi Perera gave the opening speech, dressed in an outfit that most of us instantly coveted! Some of my stitching friends (Carol and Jane) turned up wearing shibori indigo […]