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I have a classic collection that is available to pre-order throughout the year. There is usually a six-week lead time so that I can soak and prepare the willows ready to weave with, but during busier times this may be longer. If I am working at capacity please get in touch directly to find out my current lead time.
I make seasonal collections that are available at certain times during the year. These limited pieces are made in small batches, using ‘in-season’ material and often concentrate on one particular style at a time.
My classic collection is made using three varieties of traditionally grown Somerset willows. I buy them when they are freshly cut so that I can dry some in sunlight to bring out the warm hues and dry the rest in the dark to preserve the colour, to give my baskets their characteristic appearance.
My seasonal collections are made from a blend of Somerset and Scottish grown willows, and a selection of colourful varieties that I manage on my own coppice. Due to the finite annual harvest of some of the colourful varieties, I am only able to make a limited number each year.
I harvest and hand pick hazel rods from a local coppice to use as handles and frames.
I want my baskets to be as strong as possible, so I use a tough and slender variety of willow called Dicky Meadows for the main body of my baskets unless stated otherwise. Traditionally grown for finer work, the rod has very little pith wood and a long taper to help give a solid, close-fitting weave.
Over time baskets may develop a patina which will tell of their much-loved use but looked after well my baskets should last to pass on to the next generation.
Each of my baskets are designed to withstand the nature of their use but in certain cases if a rod is accidently damaged or broken, it can be replaced to restore it to its original strength and form, please contact me directly to discuss.
Whether your basket has a fixed position or moves about with you it is best to place it in a dry or well-ventilated area and keep it away from direct heat sources and/or direct sunlight for long periods of time. This will help to prevent the basket fibres from becoming too damp or too dry and stop any colours from fading.
To lightly clean your basket, use a soft-bristled brush or the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust. If deeper cleaning is needed this is best done by hosing it down or using a shower head on a strong setting and then hanging it up in a windy or warm place so that it dries as quickly as possible.
Yes, I have a gift wrap service, perfect for when you want to send a gift to someone far away. All my wrapping and packaging is made from recycled materials, which are fully biodegradable, and your chosen gift will arrive complete with a ‘Rachel Bower Baskets’ card and handwritten message of your choice. Please contact me for more information.
Occasionally I can take on commissions. Please contact me directly to discuss. If I’m not able to make what you’re looking for I may be able to suggest another basketmaker who has the right knowledge and skills for your ideas.
Each year I am able to take on a small number of wholesale orders, please contact me directly if you are interested in buying my work for your business. Unfortunately, I am not able to offer work on a sale or return basis.
I am currently taking a break from teaching classes while I complete my own studies at Westhope college. I recommend contacting the Basketmakers Association and the Scottish Basketmakers Circle for a list of tutors available in your area.
Keep a lookout on my Instagram for notice of when I will be teaching in the future. In the meantime, I may be able to offer one-to-one or one-to-two tuition from my home studio in Angus, NE Scotland. Please contact me directly for more details.