Dark Red Willow Tray

Hilary Burns

The Dark Red Willow tray by master weaver Hilary Burns is made from a mixed variety of willow species to display a spectrum of tones and colours.

Hilary begins by harvesting two-year-old willow rods from her on willow beds, which she places in the sun so they become dark as they dry. Before being woven, the rods are split lengthways and then shaved down one side using a 'shaving horse' (similar to a work bench) and a 'drawknife' (a traditional woodworking hand tool used to shape wood by removing delicate shavings) to obtain a smooth surface. The design of this piece is based on the traditional techniques from southern Spain, in Catalunya, redesigned by Hilary with four twisted ties in the centre and twisted willow handles on the ends. The pattern and structure in the base is made from alternating between two different weaving techniques known as randing and waling, with latter technique creating the two raised ribs across the tray's base.

Material: Mixed varieties willow
Dimensions: Height: 12 cm, Length: 74 cm, Width: 46 cm
Care Instructions: Dust and wipe with cloth, store in a warm dry place.
Out of stock


Hilary grows numerous varieties of willow on the Dartington estate, Devon. Between November and March she harvests the crops herself, drying the rods and re-soaking them so they can be woven into various functional and decorative forms throughout the year.
The Maker Hilary Burns Basket Maker - South West England

Hilary Burns is a Devon based basketmaker who grows, harvests, soaks and bends her own willow to create functional pieces and decorative baskets. Weaving has been a constant in her life, originally she trained as a fabric weaver before taking up the craft of basketry thirty years ago. In 1985, she planted several willow beds to grow her own sustainable materials – hazel, oak and ash. Her work is based on traditional techniques applied in a contemporary way to achieve a robust and natural look.