My interest in basketry started a long time ago.
Over the years I’ve done bits and pieces . The first basket I made about 30 years
ago I still use most days to collect fruit and vegetables from the garden. It is made of cane with a leather handle made from a bit of my horse gear. It a good size and very durable.
In 1980’s Graham and Annemarie Brookman from the Food Forest at Gawler gave us some cutting of a French osier willow which was planted as a copes in a wet area down the back of our property and I started dreaming of retiring to the veranda to make baskets.
I then saw a wonderful exhibition of natural fibre basketry that was extremely inspiring at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and signed up to learn how to make a melon basket back in August 1992( I remember this date because we had 74mm of rain on the second workshop weekend , 30th August) with the Fibre Basket Weavers of South Australia (now Basketry SA) Their book ‘Fibre Basketry Homegrown and Handmade’ is my main reference book still.
Over the years I made a few things mainly from fresh materials as I had little time to plan ahead or shed space to store them as all our sheds seemed unsuitable. Every time pruning came around I’d get inspired and make a few things and by now the willows were producing lots of materials. I started making fences and gardens ‘art’ around the place.
Evette Sunset than turned the copes of willows into a Living Yurt We held a few basket making days in the willow house and I started teaching others how to make fences and melon baskets.
Last year I was re inspired by a Basketry SA display at the Stirling Autumn Garden Festival and started going along to their meeting and learning new techniques. I’ve been busy collecting materials (I cleared out a part of a shed although not ideal its fine for now) I've also started a basketry garden to make collecting easier and I’m always on the lookout for suitable materials and now its pruning time I can be inspired by the shapes of the prunings.