I made my first willow basket on a weekend workshop over ten years ago. In one foul swoop I fell in love not only with the craftform, but also the lifestyle I imagined went hand in hand with being a 'basketmaker'. What also really struck me was both the simplicity and the sustainability of basketmaking - I could grow, harvest and prepare my own materials, and then use just my hands and one or two simple tools to create beauty from mere sticks. Amazing!
Just over five years ago, I had the very great honour and privilege of helping to weave part of my aunt-in-law's willow coffin after she died. It was both a deeply sad and profoundly beautiful experience. As we wove, we talked and told stories about Rosie, and it was as though she was there in the room with us. This experience inspired me to want to go on to make willow coffins of my own, which is where my current basketmaking attention lies. So although I do still enjoy making smaller baskets (indeed it's quite a relief for my hands after working on bigger things!), coffins are my main focus at the moment.
For more information about me and my coffins, please have a look at my Wild Heart Coffins website.