Coomb Basket I


Coomb Basket I by Annemarie O’Sullivan is part of the ‘Plant Explorations’ collection, facilitated by The New Craftsmen. Earlier this year, The New Craftsmen invited a select group of craftspeople to the Economic Botany Collections at Kew Gardens to examine and creatively respond to a myriad of objects and their narratives. The collection delves into humanity’s ever resourceful and ingenious making traditions with plants. Annemarie found inspiration in the Victorian ‘Plant Hunters’ who travelled the world, finding and recording plant specimens. The shape and scale of the basket evoke a sense of sharing. The four handles signify teamwork, joining together in a spirit of adventure like the original plant hunters did. Closer to home, Annemarie also took inspiration from the beautiful coombes or hollows found on the chalky South Downs, where she lives.

Material: White Somerset willow
cm: Width 105cm, Depth 105cm, Height 27.5cm
inches: Width 41.3in, Depth 41.3in, Height 10.8in
Care Instructions Clean with a dry cloth. This item can be washed in warm water once a year on a sunny day. Dry quickly outdoors and ensure that the piece is fully dry before being replaced in its position.


This basket was made using a Catalan base. The sides were woven with a French rand and finished with a bundled border and cranked willow ties. It has four twisted stripped White Somerset willow handles. First the green willow is harvested in winter and ‘pitted’ - stood in water until the sap rises in the spring. Then, it is stripped of its bark to leave a white colour rod. The rods need to be stripped, dried and stored in a single day for the best results.
The Maker Annemarie O'Sullivan Basket Maker - South East England

Based in East Sussex, Annemarie O'Sullivan makes contemporary baskets using ancient British basket-making techniques. Annemarie grows around twenty varieties of willow, which she harvests by hand on a half-acre plot near her home. Working from a wooden studio in her garden, Annemarie creates both small-scale domestic objects and larger woven sculptures. Her baskets have been featured in The New York Times, The Irish Times, House and Garden and Country Living.

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