My interest in spinning and weaving began whilst expecting my first child in 1974, when I learnt to spin and weave at ‘The Guild House’, Stanton, in Gloucestershire, from Mary Osbourne, its founder.
For many years I would spin natural fleece into yarn, either using the natural colours, or I would natural dye the yarn and knit jumpers and produce hand-woven rugs and furnishings for the family and home whilst bringing up my family. I would also sell hand-spun, hand-knitted jumpers in my shop, ‘The Spinning Wheel’, in Tewkesbury, Glos.
It was whilst running the shop that my fascination for old baskets developed and after moving to Mid-Wales in 1983 I attended courses run by Sheila Wynter in both basketmaking and rush work. Indeed, the hat on the left was the very hat I made in 1983, and has been used regularly since then (when the sun shines!), and has recently been on a trip to Australia and back with me - which proves the durability of these natural and wonderful materials, as this hat is over 20 years old!
I have continued to develop my basketmaking skills and product range using traditional basketmaking techniques to include log baskets, shopping baskets, gathering baskets, vegetable and fruit baskets, general storage baskets, trugs, etc. I also make willow plant supports and garden products.
There is an exciting new range of frame baskets that I now offer for sale. The frame is made from either a dog rose, hazel or willow hoop, which is shaped, spliced and bound, then left to dry. The ribs are added as the basket is woven to form the body of the frame basket.