Plant Collar Wall Hanging I

Hilary Burns
£1,440
Plant Collar Wall Hanging I by Hilary Burns 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. Hilary Burns found inspiration in the fragments of flower garlands and wreaths from Graeco-Roman and Egyptian tombs. She was fascinated by how such fragile, seemingly fleeting constructions have been preserved and connect us to the original florists. She also found herself imagining how they must have once looked, when fresh, and the impetus that leads us to use flowers, leaves and stalks for decoration and ceremony. In the ‘Plant Collars’ that have emerged from Hilary’s imaginings, she celebrates the wealth of plant materials available to us and the vast opportunities they present the maker. The decorative pieces reflect her interest in plants, seasonal processes and basketry.


Material: Stripple, iris foetidissima, sprang, flax, linen, lichen
Dimensions:
cm: Diameter 50cm, Depth 50cm
inches: Diameter 19.7in, Depth 1.6in
Care Instructions: Keep out of direct sunlight as some plant materials tend to fade over time. Dust with lint free cloth.

Process

The Collars have been made using a wide variety of techniques, ranging across basketry and textiles, to form rings of different textures and colours - from cordage and wrapping to ‘sprang’. Sprang is an ancient, slow method of constructing a net-like fabric on a basic frame loom, where the warp threads are manipulated by very specific hand movements. The making of cordage pre-dates pottery and is an indication of the earliest beginnings of mathematics and science.

This circular piece has an outer ring of cordage made from ‘stripple’. This is the bark that is stripped from willow rods, after boiling them for eight hours, to produce buff willow. The tannins turn this waste material into a warm rusty brown. The inner ring is constructed from sprang. This was made using hemp handspun on a drop spindle from Nepal. The sprang was dyed with natural indigo and locally grown weld (to create the blue and yellow colours). The pockets are stuffed with locally grown flax linen, which has been retted and hand processed, as well as lichen from apple trees in her neighbouring Devon orchard. Please note all plant materials may fade and change over time.
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.

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