Neolithic Braiding (Conical)


Neolithic Braiding (Conical) by Lisa Atkin 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. Inspired by the shape of traditional conical fruit baskets from the Black Sea area of Turkey, Lisa has married the form with Neolithic weaving techniques, which have been used by our ancestors for over 7,000 years. Reflecting on our human relationship with nature, Lisa feels a deep sense of connection while repeating the same hand movements of previous generations. Lisa works closely with the land, using foraged materials to create her sculptural basketry, combining ancient techniques with her own contemporary ideas and expression. The sculptural piece features a distinctive, hand-carved handle crafted from an ivy root which Lisa has foraged from a fallen oak tree.

Material: Foraged ivy, hemp rope, cane
cm: Width 42cm, Depth 32cm, Height 60cm
inches: Width 16.5in, Depth 12.6in, Height 23.6in
Care Instructions Dust with a lint free cloth


As she settles into a rhythmic flow of making, Lisa listens to the natural materials and allows them to direct the final results. Fallen from an oak tree in Dartmoor, Lisa spent some time peacefully whittling the bark of the ivy handle under the canopy of a tree, working steadily to reveal the beauty of the wood which is as ancient as the River Dart flowing nearby. She then used a Neolithic weaving technique to create the basket. The wood is left untreated to showcase its natural beauty and will develop its own character with age.
The Maker Lisa Atkin Basket Maker - London

Lisa Atkin is a contemporary and sculptural basket maker, working both from her studio at Cockpit, and in Epping Forest, near her home in East London. Lisa worked with stained glass for almost 20 years but was introduced to basketry in 2016 and it has altered her path ever since. She studied basketry with the City Lit and was a runner up in the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers Basket of The Year 2020. She then went on to win the Cockpit & Worshipful Company of Basketmakers Award 2021 - 2022. Alongside some of Britain’s finest heritage and contemporary basketmakers, Lisa most recently exhibited in Basketry: Rhythm, Renewal and Reinvention at Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales.