Plant Collar Wall Hanging II

Hilary Burns
Plant Collar Wall Hanging II 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: Sabal bermudana, hemp, sisal, esparto grass dyed with iron, torbay palm, wild cherry bark, willow. Natural plant dyes from indigo, weld, walnut.
cm: Width 49cm, Depth 4cm, Height 47.5cm
inches: Width 19.3in, Depth 18.6in, Height 1.6in
Care Instructions: Keep out of direct sunlight as some plant materials tend to fade over time. Dust with lint free cloth.


The Collars have been made using a whole variety of techniques, that range 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. This piece features Sabal bermudana, a palm endemic to the Bahamas, although the frond that was used came from the palm house at Kew Gardens. Other materials include hand spun hemp from Nepal, sisal, esparto grass dyed with iron, torbay palm collected locally, the bark of wild cherry and willow from Hilary's collection. Natural plant dyes were used to colour some elements including indigo, weld, and walnut. 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.