It was the only book on the subject of basket making that I found in St. Martins art college library. I kept it out on loan for months, endlessly re reading passages on my way to and from the sculpture studios by bus. There was, for me, an urgent desire to discover how an unruly and apparently worthless twig, vine or leaf could be manipulated by human hands into something of use or beauty, or both, and I spent many hours trying to decode the arcane knowledge that the black and white illustrations seemed to be guarding. I don't think Dorothy would have approved of the consequences of my in depth study, as she didn't seem to approve of 'arty' experimentation with basketry techniques. But, the life size figure of a man that I wove out of centre cane, with her unknowing assistance, was the catalyst for the direction I have taken since then, and I would like to think that my work now shows as much respect for the tradition as her writing did then.
|All library photos thanks to Shani Rhys-James friend and super painter. See her at work here http://www.axisweb.org/atATCL.aspx?AID=782|