Contemporary basketmakers

Baskets have a natural ability both to occupy and contain space, with an interplay between inside and outside. Traditionally they were made in response to a need: to separate, to contain, to protect, to transport. Traditionally, baskets were also made from the natural materials the basketmaker had to hand – local woods, vegetations, plants. The materials of the maker’s place became the materials of the techniques used and developed.

This history is one of the main reasons I think exploring a range of basketry techniques is so suited to my project proposal. The weaving allows you to make your own fabric, which makes your own surfaces.

I have been looking into the work of some contemporary basket makes, pulling out those who I find resonate with my aesthetic, techniques or concept. Here are a few of the best I have come across so far.

John Garrett

“Beyond its utilitarian functions of holding, storing and serving, the basket is a decorative object, a status symbol and a ceremonial object.  I draw on these abundant traditions in making my work”

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 15.27.57 Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 15.26.49

Rachel Max

“My work investigates the relationships between interior and exterior spaces, especially hidden, secret spaces, and the intrigues or barriers that are often created.”


Stella Harding 

Stella Harding j Piece 1

Lorraine Gilmore


It hasn’t escaped my attention that all of these examples are really strong with their use of line and all have an interesting tension between space and surface. Twisting, wrapping, open weaves – all allowing the inside space and outside space to flow between each other.


1 thought on “Contemporary basketmakers

  1. Eileen Westmuckett

    I love these – the shapes and materials and colours and their “object -ness” – (I dont usually make up words but cant think of what precisely describes what I want to say!)


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