Silver Birch Basket II

Pip Rice
Silver Birch Basket II by Pip Rice 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. Pip found her inspiration in a large palm cone, carefully wrapped and tied in string to preserve it on its journey back from Australia 140 years ago. As a collector of natural treasures, such as conkers and leaves, Pip found this delicate process of preservation very appealing. Pip’s intention was to express this notion of collecting, treasuring and protecting through her basketry. Woven with grasses, roots and leaves, her work feels as though it has been found in a hedgerow or gathered from the forest floor, before being placed on a mantlepiece to be treasured.

Material: Silver birch twigs, as yet unidentified twig
cm: Width 20cm, Depth 28cm, Height 23cm
inches: Width 7.9in, Depth 11in, Height 9.1in
Care Instructions Clean with dry dusting cloth only


For this piece, Pip used birch twigs, which are very flexible and lend themselves beautifully to making nest like structures. She collects fallen birch twigs when she finds them and weaves with them as soon as possible. If the twigs dry out, they become too brittle to work with. For this basket, Pip loosely wrapped the twigs and wove them around a birch.
The Maker Pip Rice Basket Maker - London

After working for many years as a photographic stylist, sourcing beautiful objects made by others, Pip Rice had a yearning to create some of her own. The South East London based basket maker initially began experimenting with plants from her own garden before going on to forage natural materials from further afield. After a two-year basketry course at City Lit, she now combines a range of traditional basketry techniques with contemporary experimentation to create highly sculpted baskets. She was awarded both the Barbara Maynard Cup, by the Basketmakers’ Association, and the Christiane Sands Award in 2019.