My sister, Ruth, taught me to make my first basket eight years ago. I was unemployed and at a loose end, and she had recently had a go herself. So, she thought she would try my patience!
My first basket, like most people's, was full of 'character' - not very round, not very straight, and not very level! And my head and hands ached for days afterwards.
It was good enough to put something in it though, and it is now where my pegs live, providing me with a constant reminder of where I started.
Since then, I have built and honed my skills with amazing basket makers here in the UK and on the continent, through various courses with Owen Jones MBE, Jenny Crisp, Mary Butcher, Adrian Charlton, Mandy Coates, Corentin Laval and Eddie Glew.
It feels great to pass on the skills I have learned to others through my courses, and to see people unearthing their ability to make something with their own hands.
Welcome to my willowy world!
Riving oak to make swills