I have been so thankful for the huge amount of interest and support for my work over the past couple of months. There isn’t much opportunity to see people’s reactions to my baskets, living and working on a small island. So your kind words, likes, shares and follows over on instagram and here on my blog, have be very much appreciated.
Matt (my lovely husband), has been working hard to give my website a fresh new look and we’ve been going through it together to update things and hopefully make the whole thing easier and more enjoyable to use.
Now it’s up to me to get back in the rhythm of regular posting and to make some new tutorials to introduce you to the world of basketry.
While I might have been absent here, I have been very busy making baskets since Christmas. Following on from Tideline Treasures, I have continued to explore the possibilities of cocooning found objects, with fine coilwork baskets.
January began with a set of four treasures, that seemed so perfect for each other.
A limpet, a small rayed artemis shell, a piece of terracotta and a piece of earthenware worn smooth by the sea.
The earthenware piece had an area of glaze on the back, that I didn’t want to cover up with my basketry. So I decided to frame the glaze, creating a peephole, so that all the details were visible.
It was a fascinating process. Losing the base of the basket in this way, led me to new ideas about the sculptural possibilities of coil work. There is plenty for me to explore with this, as the year progresses and it would be easy to get distracted by all of the ideas buzzing around in my head. But I am trying to be very focused this year, concentrating on each project and putting seperate time aside for development work.
I echoed the peephole in the terracotta piece, because it brought them together as a harmonious set of four.
Even though we spend a lot of time walking on beaches and looking to see what the tide has washed up, finding pieces that work really well together, takes time. I love how the colours in the shells, are reflected in the colours of the pottery pieces, in this set of four.
These little treasures are meant to be picked up, held, put down again, moved around……..the textures of the objects and baskets enjoyed as much as the colours and forms.
If I had time to make them for myself, I would want a large collection of them, to interchange, rearrange and consider. Constantly changing like the coastal landscape, as the tide moves everything around each day.
Perhaps I will make one for myself every now and then. My collection can grow over time.
This piece led to a very interesting commission of three cocooned treasures, collected over twenty years of travels.
A piece of coral, a piece of sandblasted agate and a limpet shell. All had special memories attached to them and I felt very privileged to be entrusted with them.
I gave the agate an open-backed basket, so that it could still be raised to the light. It would have been a shame to lose the beautiful colours and patterns in it, that can only be seen as the light shines through.
The coral, had a particular set of challenges, due to its irregular shape. Lots of care was taken, not to cover up too much of the beautiful surface textures and patterns, whilst still enclosing it in the basket. Careful observation, of the contours of the underside was needed, to achieve the close fit that brings these baskets together.
Guy had clearly put a lot of thought into which of his treasures would work well together as a trio. They were a delight to work with and I was so pleased that he was thrilled with the results.
I have really been enjoying these pieces and the variety of form and consideration that needs to be given to each individual piece, has provide me with a wonderful opportunity to learn and develop my baketry.
I began February with a trio of tiny treasures. I have a real soft spot for ceramics and these little fragments caught my eye, while I was out beachcombing with Lark and Wren. Although not natural treasures, it is the motion of the sea, wearing them smooth and changing their patterns and textures, that makes them so special.
The first, had an interesting arrow pattern, while the second was a brilliant turquoise and delightfully crackled. A limpet shell made up the trio. The enormous variety of colour and pattern in limpet shells, means that you can find one to compliment most combinations – if you’re happy to spend the time looking for the perfect one!
Winter has given me the chance to get into a really good creative flow. Ideas for new projects are effortless and the time that I have spent focusing on Phormium Tenax, has given me a much deeper understanding of these wonderful fibres.
I hope that as winter gives way to spring and the need to push on with house renovations and the busy growing season returns, I can keep my focus and bring all of those ideas to life.