Plant Collar Wall Hanging III

Hilary Burns
Plant Collar Wall Hanging III 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:Hemp, flax linen, conifer cones of different types, indigo dyed handmade plant paper, pine needles, wisteria vine, wild cherry bark, plant dyes, wire
cm: Diameter 41cm, Depth 4.5cm
inches: Diameter 16.1in, Depth 1.8in
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. The making of cordage pre-dates pottery and is an indication of the earliest beginnings of mathematics and science. Hilary has drawn on different methods of making, not all of them in each collar, learnt over many years of basketmaking and weaving, for instance: imbrication – a method of folding bark to make a textured surface of smaller squares. Hilary has also used plant dyes - including indigo, weld, walnut husks and oak galls - to colour the materials. This piece includes pine needles from Kew gardens. 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.