Woven wonders of the world

Bespoke baskets and sculptural willow, birch and heather works of art from a Scottish artist

Working from her atelier in Galloway, amid the fields and hedgerows where she sources willow, birch, heather and bog myrtle, Scottish artist Lizzie Farey fashions sculptural baskets that fuse traditional weaving techniques with fluid, contemporary forms inspired by the landscape.

Originally trained in fine art and stained glass, Farey turned her eye towards basket-making in 1991. Much of her current work is functional – bowls and storage vessels, for example – but some spherical and nest-like pieces are sublimely decorative, using seed heads and pods, as well as coppiced hazel, ash and larch.

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Farey’s unique commissions can take from two weeks to several months to complete, each created either for a particular space or adapted from one of her existing works by modifying materials or weaving different sizes. “My work is a ‘reminder’ of the intense beauty and pleasure of nature,” says Farey. “It has a fine, delicate look that is curiously strong and firm to touch.”

From a simple ash bowl (fourth picture, £700) or a Curlicue vase (first picture, £850) to dramatic installations such as The Portal (£7,000-£10,000), a hanging wall sculpture that measures 4m in diameter, Farey’s objets d’art make striking design statements. Birds in flight, the elements and circular shapes dominate her pieces. Standalone sculptures, such as Three Sisters (second picture, £450) and Curragh and Sketch (third picture, £400), have a fluid configuration, while reed domes and houses (price on request) are all resplendent outdoor options.

Farey’s work has appeared in pre-eminent art spaces including the Saatchi Gallery and the V&A, and she is gaining a following among a discerning clientele who appreciate her combination of simple, classic materials and dramatic, poetic contours.   

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