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Heather Cassie by historian and maker Rachel Frost is made with the stems and roots of wild Scottish heather. These baskets are most notably documented on the Orkney Isles, where other weaving materials are limited.
Rachel's natural focus is on historical basket designs within Britain. Drawn to wild, plant materials and those traditional baskets made from the more obscure weaving materials, she enjoys the unpredictability of non-cultivated materials and the challenges they can present. Collecting and working with the plants that grow in the surrounding Scottish countryside where she lives, lends her basketry a sense of place, that would have been intrinsically present in the work of rural basket makers of centuries past, from whom she draws her inspiration.
Material: Wild Heather
cm: Length 40cm, Width 40cm, Height 36cm
inches: Length 15.7in, Width 15.7cm, Height 14.2in
Care Instructions: Dust with a feather duster
Tough and wiry, scratchy and stubborn, heather is perhaps not an obvious or indeed, desirable material to work in, but born out of necessity, the Highland and Islanders wove a variety of functional baskets from it, like this 'Cassie' which would have been used to bring home peat for the fire or perhaps a catch of fish. Selecting appropriate material is the first challenge, then wrestling the heather, is the next, but once tamed provides a strong and springy weather proof basket which echoes the landscape.