A velvet tree

A work-in-progress from Saturday’s Rag-rug demo/drop-in at the Centre for Stewardship. The visitor who stayed and made this amazing little tree found materials I’d never seen before in the scrap-bag – a small piece of soft tan suede and a lump of amber-coloured velvet curtain. She had a vision for the trunk of her tree and it worked beautifully. I hope she sends me a photo of the finished rug.


Beech interrupted

This tree basket will have to wait till November for its sides. The beech twigs I collected in April have lain too long and even soaking won’t make them supple again. Rather than fight with brittle twigs, I’m happy to wait for winter and this year’s new growth.

The little unfinished beech coil was my demonstration piece over the Open Studios weekend. It helped explain basket construction to many people and its slow growth shows how busy we were! Thanks to everyone who came along and to the Centre for Stewardship for hosting us. We had some great conversations and Tess and I can see our work more clearly in the light of your feedback. I’ll be offering at least two workshops this summer and autumn in response to the interest shown, dates and venues will be posted here once arranged.


Open Studios North Fife

It’s Open Studios this weekend, I’ll be at The Stables, Centre for Stewardship Falkland with Tess Darwin tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, 10.00am to 6.00pm each day. I’ll be showing work-in-progress on my Falkland Trees project (eight species done) and Tess is showing her lovely Maspie Den-inspired textile art.

This weekend for the first time I’m going to offer a selection of my baskets, pods and nests for sale. Each one will be labelled with it’s materials, where they were collected and, if I’ve written about it in my blog, the date of the post.

Hope to see you over the weekend if you’re in Fife.

Please note: if you are planning to visit us tomorrow (Saturday 29th April) and are travelling by car, please park in the village or at Pillars of Hercules, as the Stables car park is being used by a wedding party.

Open Studios North Fife 2017

Centre for Stewardship Falkland

Tree projects

At the end of April I’m an invited artist at the Centre for Stewardship Falkland for this year’s Open Studios North Fife. My friend Tess Darwin is joining me, we’ll be based in the Stables Information Hub on Sat 29th April and in the Stables Craft Hub on Sun 30th and Mon 1st May. 

Over the winter we’ve both been working on personal projects inspired by the woodlands and plants of Falkland Estate and we are looking forward to showing some of our finished work. We’ll also be demonstrating how we use our materials and will be happy to talk about our processes – and all things woodland of course. Tess is a City and Guilds qualified textile artist and dedicated journal-keeper. I’m hoping she might bring some of her journals and experimental pieces with her, they are beautiful artworks in their own right.

Here are some examples of Tess’s work-in-progress…

My baskets/pods are dark and wintery in comparison. Between us I think we have four seasons!


I’m still working on some interesting construction challenges with those Monkey Puzzle leaves…


Spring baskets

First warm weekend of Spring, first basket workshop taught outdoors (well, with doors open anyway) and first time working in the new Craft Hub at the Centre for Stewardship, Falkland. It was a good day with a lovely bunch of people.

We used twigs I’d collected from the roadside and path edges in Falkland Estate, a selection of birch, willow, larch, alder, hawthorn (thorns removed), lime, an accidental piece of honeysuckle and a few pussy willows.


We opened the glass doors and worked half-in, half-out of the room. Very pleasant.




This workshop was supported by the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership. 


I’m running more creative events at the Centre for Stewardship, Falkland during the spring and summer.

The Craft Hub will be open over the Fife Open Studios weekend (7,8,9th May), drop in and say hello if you are in the area. I’ll be working away on baskets, rag-rug projects and demonstrating drop-spindle spinning.

There are plenty more full-day creative workshops in the programme. I’m running:

Paint and Draw like a Pict (Sat 28th May), a chance to learn more about Pictish art and try painting with natural ochre pigments collected in Fife.

Summer Baskets (Sun 10th July). We’ll be using grasses, rushes and other seasonal local materials for this one.

All materials provided, no experience needed, free, bookable through Eventbrite. See the events page on the Living Lomonds website for more details: http://www.livinglomonds.org.uk/events/

Fife Craft Collaboration legacy

I worked with a great bunch of people on Wednesday at the Centre for  Stewardship Falkland, running a one-day Stitched Basket workshop for the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership.

It is a year since the Fife Craft Collaboration took place in this same venue and I was very pleased to be sharing some of what I’d learned during that inspiring week last October. I showed the group how I’ve been using traditional North American basket-making techniques and local materials to make baskets/nests/pods, each with its own story. Thanks once again Joan Carrigan for the introduction to waxed thread!

(See Joan’s work at http://www.joancarrigan.com and find out more about Fife Craft Collaboration 2014 at livinglomonds.org.uk)


LLLP baskets

Silver birch, dogwood, willow, broom, soft rush, sycamore stalks, reedmace, lavender, old rope, red campion pods, common reed, sea grasses, Crocosmia leaves, varied threads, lots of beeswax and imagination.

“Apple of My Eye”

Amanda3Amanda1    JuteJudy's    imageLorraine's cone basket

Hope to work with you all again! And thanks to Emily, Lisa and Kelly at the Centre for Stewardship for looking after us.