Jane Wilkinson demonstrating her work
It was Jane Wilkinson who introduced me to the wonderful world of willow weaving. I attended a weekend workshop and produced two fantastic baskets (well I thought they were!) - and that was it. She shared her skills and experiences both of willow basketry but also growing and cultivating willow andI was hooked.
" I was originally drawn to working with willow out of the love of trees and woodlands and also a desire to do something environmentally sesnsitive. Basketry was the perfect solution. I now grow and harvest an increasingl proportion of my own willow, and then have the pleasure of weaving it into a basket or sculptural piece.
I have been weaving for 13 years and am constantly learning new techniques which have been used to make a range of traditional baskets. During this time I have travelled in Scotland, Ireland, England and New Zealand, where I have worked with the local crafts people and discovered a great diversity of style and approach. Once mastered, the skills involved in weaving actually provide me with the freedom for creative expression. I my contemporary work I feel challenged to preserve, continue and develop the traditional techniques which I have mastered, whilst being inspired to incorporate them into unusual and innovative designs.
I often try to evoke a sense of connection and place with the Scottish landscape from which I obtain my raw materials and inspiration. I frequently use birch, larch and heather as well as willow in order to bring about variations in teture and colour. A lot of my contemporary work can be of an autobiographical nature, containing references to my daily life, and in particular my relationship with my daughter, and the processes involed in motherhood."