I used to be a swimmer and I feel there's a real link between swimming and working with willow. I get totally immersed; there's something slightly obsessive in both. When I was young I used to dream I was swimming down the road, now I dream I am weaving.
Environmentalist Roger Deakin, author of 'Waterlog' has been a big inspiration. His quest was to swim wild throughout Britain chimes with my instinctive enthusiasm for the outdoors and the freeing effects of working in nature.
Other influences are basketmakers Mary Butcher and Tim Johnson. I am also interested in French culture, in which life seems to be much closer to the source of everything.
I think it was the shortage of willow classes and access to basketmakers that really galvanised my commitment to follow this path. If it had been on my doorstep and really easy to do I might not have done it. I had to work really hard to find classes, but when I did, I was so inspired.
Qualifications and training
- 2011 City and Guilds Creative Basketry, City Lit, London
- 2012 Woven in wood, Fringe, Muswell Hill, London
- 2011 Useful and Beautiful, Worshipful Co. of Basket Makers, Brick Lane, London
- 2010 Inspired By, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
- 2010 Living Willow Seeds, Kew, Wakehurst Place, Sussex
Educational experience - special needs
- 2010 Outdoor Knitting- Lead Artist, Oak Grove College, Worthing
- 2010 Emerging Makers Program, Crafts Council, London