I have decided to dedicate the whole month of May to weaving!
Perhaps that sounds obvious, given that I am a basketmaker... Any weaver will tell you though how easy it is to dream up the baskets you are going to make, the skills you are going to perfect, the idyllic craftsperson life you are going to live.... only to be constantly thwarted by pesky things like 'work', unexpected visitors, having to take the car to the garage, housework, family and basically anything that gets in the way of uninterrupted time totally alone with your craft. Often the things in the way can be the ones you put there yourself.... It can be scary to actually dedicate time to the thing you call your passion- what if you are not as skilled, or as capable of the things you imagine yourself to be if "you just had time".
So this is the month I have put paid to fears, cleared the diary and allowed myself a 4 week self curated 'artists residency' on the land I call home!
Where I live is gorgeous. Up in the hills where the Cambrian mountains meet the Dyfi Valley the farm I call home is bordered by a pioneering rewilding site, complete with self seeding young trees, a winding stream, mountain views and even wild horses. It is a landscape full of things to weave- Molinea grass, Juncus rush, Polytrichum moss, willow trees for bark, honeyseuckle vines, blackberry and many more I have yet to deiscover. I love to experiment . Basketmakers in the UK often work with willow only, but I find so much excitement in weaving with the plants that grow around me, exploring their possibilities and potentials. This is often a slow process of great imagining and frustrated failure, as the hoped for supple vine snaps in your hands, or the beautiful lively grass dries to shrivelled paper. Building a relationship with a plant and learning how to use it well is a delicate and ultimately rewarding process, and one which I don't think ever ends. If you speak to craftspeople in their 80's they'll tell you that they never stop learning .
This month I plan to give dedicated time to continuing to build relationship with some of the plants I'm getting to know. I'll update here with the highlights!