As a basketmaker my creativity is inspired by the detail and colours written in different landscapes, including those most known to me in the South Shropshire hills.
I first discovered my love for willow in 2016 and I have studied to Level 3 City and Guilds Basketry at Westhope College. I enjoy making traditional baskets, that often have a contemporary twist by changing form, material or weave.
More contemporary baskets are influenced by my background in Social Anthropology, and I love to mix different regional basketry styles and techniques in my work. My craft is underpinned by a commitment to an ecological awareness and traceability of the materials I use. I grow some of my own willow organically, and source other material from mainly local suppliers. I use cork bark for straps, which are handmade to bespoke design.
On commissions I work alongside my customers to create a unique vision that reflects their choice. This process serves to translate their own relationship to the natural world, through design in terms of colour and weave. I have a workshop in the stables at Pitchford Estate, and I would love to hear from you if you would like to find out more about workshops or have an idea for a commission.
Sophie Francis – Basketmaker