About Me

I was born and raised in the west Highlands of Scotland and I now live in Cowdenbeath in Fife with my family. I have a home workshop where I make all of my baskets.

I originally studied contemporary art at college, and went straight from that to having children – which I fully immersed myself in. I didn’t have much time to make art, and when I did, I often felt overwhelmed with the sheer amount of accumulated ideas I had, and I found this frustrating. Most of the art I created in the early years of my children’s lives were outrageously carved pumpkins for Samhain, and completely over the top birthday cakes and pies, just for them to end up being consumed or rotting back to the earth.

I took my first dive into basketry when I attended a beginners day course in Culross in 2021, with the lovely Bernice Keegan. I immediately fell in love with the material, and I went home, bought some willow from Musgroves, bought and absorbed the books by Jonathan Ridgeon and Jenny Crisp, binged on hours of YouTube videos by Hanna van Aelst and Big Green Art, and (with both the boys now at school age) got to work. Unfazed by the wonkiness of my first few baskets, I found real satisfaction in the small improvements of each one. I found inspiration in the limitations and rules that working with willow demands. I was inspired by Big Green Art to make my first mask, which got lovely feedback and also showed me that I can be experimental and take on a more contemporary approach. I then joined the BA and SBC, and have used their libraries extensively. I have also learned from zoom courses run by Eddie Glew, which added a whole bunch of new techniques to my arsenal, allowing me to make creels, backpacks, D-shaped bike baskets and various square work. Not having had any in-person tuition since my very first beginners course (and realising this was definitely what I wanted to do with my life) I wanted to make sure I wasn’t picking up any bad habits, so I reached out to esteemed basket maker John Cowan, who agreed to teach me in some 1-1 sessions. My time with John has been absolutely invaluable in learning about traditional techniques, and has really sharpened up so many aspects of my basket making. Having garnered so much information from varied sources, this has really allowed me to be more free with my work, and apply many traditional techniques to make more contemporary creations.

I find preserving and passing down heritage and traditional skills incredibly important, not only in basketry. In connection with my roots, I have been re-learning Scottish Gaelic, which I have found so enriching to my life. It’s clear I like to fuse modern and traditional, so you might see some of the names of my baskets have a lovely Gaelic twist.

Tapadh leibh airson a’leughadh!