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Tim Johnson discovered The Caithness Hayve in a private collection in Thurso on the far north coast of Scotland in 2012. He then dedicated himself, over several years, to researching the rare basket and practicing its unusual making technique. Tim is currently the only professional basketmaker making the Caithness Hayve. This is one example of an outstanding collection of rare British baskets we presented at Join, Assemble, Hold, our exhibition for London Design Festival 2023.
The Hayve was made with locally harvested Soft Rush (Juncus effusus) and was traditionally used by Caithness crofters and fishermen to gather bait from the shore in preparation for rod fishing from rocky headlands.
The basket is woven using the ‘Neolithic Braiding’ technique but is unusually begun at the border. It is then woven down the sides and completed with a decreasing spiral base, the tails of this braid are then woven back outwards filling the gaps in the openwork base giving an elegant finish.