I’m Sarah, I work with cane , rush and willow materials at my workshop studio in Bucks.
My creative work background has been in the graphic design/print industry and also the education sector, having trained at St. Martin’s School of Art in the late 1970’s. First experiences of working with centre cane was in the early 1980’s, with an introduction into chair caning and rush seating as well.
During the last 8 years or so I have revisited these skills, attending cane, rush and now also willow workshops both locally and further afield for inspiration, motivation and working alongside people who love the craft and the craftsmanship of basketmaking, cane and rush seating. It is a wonderful and talented community of people to belong to, continuing traditional skills into modern day, contemporary living.
Being conscious of using natural materials and for sustainability I use rush that grows naturally alongside riverways, sourced from both the Somerset Levels and the Bedfordshire/Northampton borders, together with Dutch Salt Rush additionally sourced from a supplier in the Somerset Levels.
The chair cane, centre cane and seagrass that I use is again from a Somerset supplier, imported into the UK from around the world.
The cane originates from the Rattan family, a wild creeper found growing in South East Asia.
The willow that I use is also grown naturally in the UK in a variety of different colour ways and is sourced locally from within the Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire borders and also from suppliers within the Somerset Levels. There are many different varieties and colour combinations, making it an ideal weaving material.
Happily now, I get to work on many different styles of cane and rush chairs, plus homeware and basketwork items too. I absolutely love styling my own pictures, setting up mini photoshoots using my own collection of props, knick knacks, ephemera and dried flowers. Collated and collected from living in the countryside in an old renovated, brick and flint cottage, once being the ‘beer house’ in the village.