The Way of the Willow

“Did you make all these baskets?” she asked. “Well keep up the good work” as she walked away.
A phrase innocent and well meant but one that makes the bile rise in my gut! Of course I should be more tolerant and I am more tolerant and I understand why people are unable to see the connection between making baskets and making a living; but this is in fact how I pay the rent, and put food on the table for my children and clothe and school them. It is,of course, my choice to make a living this way and the life has many advantages and I am grateful to be able to spend my days being creative but of course these skills will die out if they are not supported and I don’t mean supported just for the sake of it. The challenge for me is to make a product that people want , what people need and what people value too.
What brought me to basketry was the connection between aesthetics and utility. Baskets are supremely useful, versatile and long lasting. My baskets are made with local and natural products and they are a great way to capture and store carbon from the environment. They are also beautiful objects that somehow reflect not just the colours and beauty of nature but also the fabric and nature of the universe that we abide within.
I will of course try and keep up the good work and reflect on patience and tolerance.
May the Willow spirits be with you!

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