Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
There were times when buying, selling, carrying, fishing, storing, building and measuring were reliant on a basket be it homemade or bought from a professional basket maker, life depended on them. It's only relatively recently that the use of baskets in everyday life has been replaced by other materials. Thankfully, trends are slowly changing and a return to more natural materials is becoming more apparent.
There is great satisfaction in planting a cutting of willow, watching it grow, harvesting it and then weaving it into something both beautiful and functional. I use traditional techniques whilst exploring new ideas in shape and form.
Using plant fibres to make baskets requires different skills and techniques; looping, coiling, twining and plaiting. Leaves, grasses and rush growing all around us provide an unlimited natural resource each one with it's own unique qualities and beauty. Discovering and collecting these fibres develops a grounding to our real world.
Helen is a member of the Scottish Basketmakers' Circle (SBC), the Basketmakers' Association (BA), the Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) and the Heckleburn Quines (HQ); an artist and makers' collective (www.heckleburnquines.co.uk) based in Banchory, Aberdeenshire.