Makers

Nicola Jane Claxton

90, GORE RD, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6LY Biography

Hi my name is Nicola and at a very young age I was drawn to create things with my hands. I also had an interest in all things outdoors, this lead me to study geology at University. Whilst there I joined the Pottery club and started a life long passion for ceramics. But I was still drawn to other crafts and in 2012 (for my 40th Birthday) I completed my first basketry course with John Waller at Bore Place in Kent, and I have not looked back since. All things willow are fascinating, from the fact that this is a natural renewable resource, it smells great, is lovely to work with and compliments many other crafts. There are basketry techniques to each design and you can try and be as precise or rustic as you want. There is also a mindfulness to weaving as you concentrate on what you are doing. However there are very old techniques and also fun aspects and like the making of dragonflies and flowers using the corn-dolly technique or fairy wands and stars for the young at heart.

I have also been involved in several community projects: in 2017 we created a giant greenman face (3m across) for a spring fair, then in 2018 a giant fish (10ft long) using rattan & wet strength tissue for a project on plastics, then in 2019 a giant cardboard oak tree for the local Shopping Centre in Dartford.

This year I have held 4 workshops under NJC Crafs: two at Hambrook marshes, Canterbury: creating willow dragonflies and willow flowers, then two at Samphire Hoe Country Park for the White Cliff Countryside Partnership creating open flower baskets. As a KCC Park Activity Ranger  I have also taught 3 Wreath making workshops at Lullingstone Country Park.

Interests
  • Basketry
  • Contemporary
  • Garden Structures
  • Living Willow
  • Traditional
  • Willow (Basketry)
  • Willow Sculpture