Oyster Tendle

Hilary Burns
Hilary Burns creates highly functional, robust basketry with ornamental flair. This Oyster Tendle is no exception. Based on a traditional basket used to harvest oysters in East Mersea, it has a unique construction detail which is specially developed by Hilary. Each basket is exceptionally made, involving a slow and labour-intensive process.

Material: Willow rods
cm: Width 38cm, Depth 47cm, Height 36cm
inches: Width 15in, Depth 18.5in, Height 14.2in
Care Instructions: Keep warm and dry, rinse to remove dust


Each basket by Hilary Burns is woven by hand from her own collection of willow varieties, harvested at home in Devon. Due to the natural colour variation in willow and how it dries, each basket will have it's own unique tones ranging from reds through to greens and browns. After selecting the most slender willow rods for this piece, Hilary soaks and bends the willow, weaving the material into her desired shape. A twisted willow ring – or ‘grommet’ – holds all eight ribs that form its shape in position. It is a frame basket and Hilary uses an ancient hoop and rib technique which is traditionally found in northern Europe and subsequently, north America, after settlers took the practise with them. The finished basket is robust; created to be both functional as well as decorative.
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.