I started basketmaking as a result of a one day course in November 1992,
and have since undertaken a wide range of short courses taught by leading
makers in the Basketmakers' Association including Sally Goymer,
Mary Butcher and Colin Manthorpe. I have also been taught
by makers from other countries including Latvia and Poland.
In July/August 2000 I was fortunate enough to gain a scholarship from
the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust
to study with Therese Leutwyler, the Secretary of the Swiss
Basketmakers' Association, at her workshop in Thun, Switzerland. I returned
for a further short period of study with Therese in July 2002. Other
than this I am self-taught and glean inspiration from the work of other
makers, from books and from nature.
started working as a professional basketmaker in 1994. I have demonstrated
at the Somerset Museum of Rural Life in Glastonbury and at the
RHS Gardens at Wisley on several occasions. I work almost entirely
to commission and have a stand at a couple of craft fairs a year. Apart
from standard orders for the normal range of domestic baskets, I have
made a range of unusual items such as a set of winnowing fans for a
schools project run by the Somerset Rural Life Museum; a basket for
the 2009 Kensington Gardens production of "Peter Pan"; the
motorbike panniers for the "Hairy Bakers" series on BBC 2;
a set of "medieval" baskets for the film "Nottingham";
a range of different sized willow plates for a local pizzeria; a costume
hamper for Glyndebourne; a large plant support for the RHS Education
Department stand at the Chelsea Flower Show 1999; and coffins,
both for children and adults.
also make various sizes of plant supports and have made different kinds
of baskets for garden use,and undertake repair and restoration work.
have exhibited several times with the Craft Guild of Designer Makers
of Bristol and Bath, and with the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen
in Martock. I also organised a national exhibition of basketry and chair
seating at Ashton Court in Bristol in June 1996, with the help and support
of the Basketmakers' Association. I was invited to show a basket in
the Worshopful Company of Basketmakers London exhibition "Basketry
Arts Useful & Beautiful" in September 2011.
I helped to edit
"Cultivation and Use of Basket Willows: a guide to growing basket willows";
and edited "Willow in the Blood: stories from the working life
of Stan Derham, willow grower", both published by the Basketmakers'
I have a particular interest in using a variety of natural willow colours
in my work, and have planted 1,800 sets on two allotments near my home
in Bristol. There are over 30 different varieties represented and I
am experimenting to see which varieties work best for basketmaking.
I occasionally teach courses for intermediate and advanced basketry
students by request, and have taught on Basketmakers' Association national
Spring and Summer Schools on several occasions. I also occasionally
do one-to-one teaching in my workshop.
of Craft Guilds & Bodies
I was a member of the Craft Guild of Designer Makers of Bristol &
Bath and a full craft member of the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen
for several years. I was elected to serve on the Committee of the Basketmakers'
Association from 1997-1999, and during my last year was Vice Chair.
I am still an active member of the Association.
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