Sophie Mary FrancisBiography
My creativity is inspired by the detail and colours written in different landscapes including those where I live in the South Shropshire hills. I enjoy making traditional baskets, that often have a contemporary twist by changing form, colour and weave. My 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 ecological awareness and traceability of the materials I use. I grow some of my own willow, and source other material from mainly local suppliers. I use cork bark for straps, which I handmake to bespoke design.
I studied Level 2 and 3 City and Guilds locally at Westhope College, where I was taught by Eddie Glew and Clare Revera, who have both influenced and inspired me on my journey. My training and commitment to quality mean that I make beautifully crafted items that are sustainable and long-lasting.
I believe in the therapeutic nature of weaving, and I prefer to teach individuals and small groups up to four people. This allows the time and space to explore willow weaving mindfully - at a pace that does justice to the process. If you are interested in experiencing this unique craft, I can offer serious consideration to the direction of your creativity.
For me basketry is a means to translate my relationship with the natural world in a way that is unharmful whilst acknowledging our need to be challenged to learn and to create beautiful forms. Alongside my passion for creativity, I am inspired to work with customers to realise their visions when commissioning work. The collaborative design process enables customers to choose from a variety of forms, colours and weaves. I have a workshop in the stables at Pitchford Estate, and you can contact me if you would like to find out more about my workshops or have an idea for a commission.
- Garden Structures
- Natural Fibres
- Willow (Basketry)