I have enjoyed being creative and using natural materials since my youth. My mum passed on her love for knitting and gave me a spinning wheel and peg-loom when I was 12. The rhythm and repetition of weaving has been entwined in my life since then. In 2007 I went on a willow weaving day course and was hooked! Making baskets has since become a passion (some would say an addiction!)
I have lived on Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli) - a small, isolated island off the tip of the Llŷn peninsula in Wales for 11 years. With my family, we ran the farm and managed the land for wildlife. During the isolated winter months, weaving became my focus, using the coppiced willow from the traditional withy beds and wool from the Welsh Mountain sheep. We now live on the mainland, in Rhiw, where I have a small cottage craft industry using materials from the local vicinity (including Bardsey). I make rugs and baskets to stock local shops and galleries, am happy to take commissions and I hope to pass on the skills I have learnt to others.
Willow basketmaking provide the ideal alternative to the ubiquitous plastic container and can be made into almost any receptacle: cradles and coffins, log and laundry baskets, shopping and storage containers...willow is such a versatile and durable material whilst also being completely biodegradable. This shift towards the sustainable container has led to a resurgence of an ancient craft which uses traditional techniques to transform material harvested from the land into items that are useful and beautiful.
Many of my baskets also incorporate shells and driftwood found on the beaches around Llŷn as well as any other hedgerow materials that I can find.
I am very happy to make baskets to order, so if you would like a particular size, shape or design, please do get in touch. See the gallery for examples. I also make willow coffins to order, which incorporate willow from Bardsey Island.
Felting turns raw sheep's wool into a softly matted felt material by using a combination of soapy water and vigorous rubbing of the fibres.
I love the process.....starting with a pile of sheep's wool, and before too long seeing it transformed into a pair of slippers, or a teapot cosy!
I often needle-felt a Puffin or Chough motive onto the felt product, or add shells from the beach for decoration.
See the gallery for examples of products.
The rugs, wall-hangings and chair covers are made out of sheep's wool on a peg loom. Most of the wool is still sourced from Bardsey Island where the sheep are a hardy Welsh Mountain breed which need a really thick warm fleece to keep them warm in the wild winters. This wool is ideal for making a warm, soft and yet resilient rug. I also incorporate locally sourced Jacob's wool to add variation. I love the simplicity and rhythm of weaving this way, starting with the raw fleece.
Sizes can vary from small mats to large floor rugs, and prices vary accordingly from £30 to £500
See the gallery for the variety of patterns and natural colours available.
A short feature was included on the Llyn episode of Countryfile in 2021: