"The life so short, the crafts so long to learn."
~Geoffrey Chaucer

Willow Baskets by Helen (Hen) Anderson

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.

9 comment(s):

Stephen Dell'Aria said...

Temporal art of a utilitarian nature. very nice.

Anonymous said...

Hen has a lot to share with the world and thanks for sharing art that comes from the Heart.

kenflett said...

There is something so beautiful about working with the hands, especially weaving sticks and earth, Hen's work and blog and life all seem naturally artistic, as if she rose from the earth herself.
You have a wonderful sense of all of this Nancy, thanks for creating this blog.

Anonymous said...

I love Hen's baskets. She has such tallent working with natural materials.

I like the idea of this blog, I will be sure to come back and look around some more.

A Cuban In London said...

'to nestle herself into the environment that she loves'.

That phrase could not have better described the activity in which she engages. The baskets are lovely and yes, they do emanate a certain energy that is all to do with being produced by Mother Nature first and foremost. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Manon Doyle said...

Hen's baskets are terrific! I had a friend who did this kind of work and Hen's recent posting reminded me of him! Lovely post!

Renee said...

Nancy I really love how you wrote this post. I find you so giving.

Thank you for creating this blog as I have always loved people who can create, and who create with a conscience.

Your baskets are beautiful Hen. And I was quite excited to see the tools that are used.

Love Renee xoxo

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Re: Nice comments about this blog.
Thank you for the nice comments about this blog. And, I know that Hen appreciates the great comments about her wonderful craft and beautiful baskets.

One thing I must add is that 99% of the wording on this post, as well as the others have been "borrowed" from the featured blogs. It's my lazy way of expediting the postings. But, I DID add my little creative touches:D

Renee said...

Well I for one, not only because I adore you, love how you write and I think you probably tweek the words just enough to make me even more interested.

Love Renee xoxoxo