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Sue Kirk


Originally inspired by heritage traditions of basketry and the sustainability of the craft, Sue has been weaving with organically grown willow since 1998. Living rurally and working outdoors, harvesting willow by hand and the repetition of weaving creates a cyclical lifestyle rooted in nature. Willow benefits the environment by increasing diversity in the landscape near her studio.

Drawn to the deep -rooted social history of willow basketry in the UK Sue feels privileged to be part of this heritage, where traditional skills have been passed down through generations of makers. Sue teaches regularly to keep the craft alive for future generations, passing on the techniques, where all baskets are made by hand, and no machine could possibly replace what the weavers hands achieve.

Sue's Contemporary Sculpture pushes the boundaries of what could be perceived as a basket. The pieces that she creates could be interpreted as a vessel, a sculpture of a non functional basket. Enjoying the different coloured varieties of willow rods to enhance her work, carefully applying the rods to create a painterly surface, Sue enjoys the linear quality of the material in the construction of her pieces. When creating these sculptures, she weaves the rods to give an impression of fluidity and movement. Form is also important to her work. Finding inspiration from rocks, boulders and small smooth stones which have been shaped and sculpted by the elements. Her latest 'Rock Pool' series were inspired by the rocks that are found on Dartmoor.

Sue's larger asymmetric pieces reference the work of Polish basket maker Stanislaw Dziubac, who 20 years ago created the sloping border. Over time her work has increased in scale and colour as she works with multiples of fine coloured willows to create an almost 'textile' finish to her work.