Basketmaking is one of the oldest and most universal crafts known to man. The earliest basket remains found so far were discovered at Fayum in Egypt and date from 8000 BC. Also fragments of basketmaking tools have been found in Utah, dated to around 9250 BC. Basketmaking in some form can be found in nearly every culture around the world and ranges from the purely practical to the wonderfully ornate.
It is not possible to mechanise basketmaking, a baskets is always made by hand.
Mass production methods in low wage economies and the use of synthetic materials resulted in the decline of skilled basketmaking in the UK during the first half of the 20th Century. However, an increasing interest in sustainability, many basketmakers growing their own willows, carbon neutral production methods, local production and a greater appreciation of hand made objects has resulted in a resurgence in basketmaking.
Makers also develop new baskets and others create non-functional sculptural forms, all using the traditional techniques that have been passed down over the centuries. The mix of exquisite craftsmanship and new design makes basketmaking in the 21st century very exciting. Please take a look at the GALLERY.
All those interested in the craft are welcome to JOIN the Basketmakers’ Association. Becoming a member will open up opportunities to learn, enjoy the craft and meet likeminded folk.