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Willow Working (Paperback)

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art > Decorative Arts & Crafts P&S History

By Lynn Huggins-Cooper
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Series: Heritage Crafts and Skills
Pages: 120
Illustrations: 32
ISBN: 9781526724601
Published: 19th October 2020
Last Released: 14th October 2021



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This book offers a whistle-stop guide to the history of basketry and willow weaving. The story begins in prehistory when people first wove plant fibres together to create containers, shelters and fences. The book explores the ways in which basketry and willow weaving has continued to be important throughout human history in artistic, economic and functional terms.

The second part of the book brings us up to date, via interviews with modern basketry and willow weaving artisans. These artists generously allowed the author a window into their studios and discussed the way they use and adapt traditional methods, techniques and tools for the twenty first century. Photos of their work, and their working environment offers a unique view into the world of this ancient craft.

Finally, if you are inspired to try your hand at this fascinating and most ancient of crafts, the book also has a resources section. It includes a valuable list of suppliers of plant fibres, plants, and tools, as well as information about training courses, useful websites and more – everything you need to get started.

In the small towns of my region it is still easy to see craftsmen at work in the wicker weaving technique and I was pleased to read about how much work and above all how much history there is behind this art. It is really hoped that this world of artisans can continue for a long time and this book I believe and hope will be useful to give birth to the passion of trying to make beautiful objects that have their roots in the origin of man.

Read the full Italian review here

On The Old Barbed Wire

Wonderful history of willow work I truly enjoyed reading the origins and different types of willow work through history. I found this to be an enjoyable read. If you enjoy willow work as an art form you will love this book.

NetGalley, Richelle Rodarte

Huggins explores the history of basket making, from ancient times, through the Romans and on to the Victorians in the first half of her book. The second half looks at willow working in current times, how it’s sourced, how items are created and information about the artisans still working this ancient craft. There is sadness and frustration that this heritage craft may die out as fewer people take it up and we buy most of our baskets from places like China. A fascinating look into what, hopefully, is not a dying art.

NetGalley, Rosemary Smith

About Lynn Huggins-Cooper

Lynn Huggins-Cooper is a widely published author. When she is not writing, she is in the studio creating art for exhibition. She is a textiles artist, working in natural and found materials, and mixed media, and her work is influenced by the 360 hectare woodland that begins at the bottom of her garden. She is a member of the Heritage Crafts Association, and the International Felt makers Association. She is also a mentor for Applied Arts Scotland. She lives with her husband in the north-east of England.

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