In the heart of the Cotswolds (United Kingdom) Helen Anderson, or Hen, crafts baskets and small hurdles from Somerset willow and materials foraged from the local countryside. It is a passion that has grown from a deep desire to nestle herself into the environment that she loves.
And, it is the environment that is one of her main concerns. In one of her recent postings, Hen asks the question, "What is the difference between a basket and a plastic container?" Her answer: I think a basket has energy. It's got life in it. When it rots it will feed the earth, not poison it. Things aren't meant to last forever. 'Things' are meant to break down and be replaced - part of the cycle. You put your soul into making the basket, try to make it as strong as it can be, as beautiful as it can be in it's strength. All the while knowing this was just a momentary stasis of inevitable decay and that one day it will just be a pile of twigs rotting in the ground, the hours spent weaving long forgotten...
Tools of her trade
About a foraging basket she recently made, Hen explains, "It's a stout basket, with a thick handle. It's tough and should last for decades! That's one of the things I love about basketry and weaving in general. The strength created by weaving is mind boggling and very beautiful." ~From her blog with consent.
Even her dog (an adorable and playful border collie), Willow, is named after her love of weaving and nature. Visit her blog, beeleaf, HERE to see more of her baskets and the beautiful countryside she lives in. And, you can see a slideshow of her baskets HERE.
Photographs are copyrighted by Helen Anderson, and posted with consent.