Neolithic Braiding on Oak


Neolithic Braiding on Oak 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. Lisa has created contemporary baskets using Neolithic weaving techniques, known to 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. She works in tune with the land, foraging materials from Epping Forest to create her sculptural basketry, combining ancient techniques with her own contemporary ideas and expression. This piece stands on two sculptural legs carved from a fallen oak tree.

Material: Oak, cane, jute
cm: Width 70cm, Depth 34cm, Height 91.5cm
inches: Width 27.6in, Depth 13.4in, Height 36in
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. She uses a Neolithic weaving technique that can only be found on a longitudinal line through Western Europe and Africa. The foraged wood, from a storm fallen oak tree in Epping Forest, is stripped of its bark, then carved with hand tools, partly in the forest and finished in the studio. This forms the frame on which to hold the basket, which is handwoven in the Neolithic braiding style. 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.

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