tue 29/09/2020

We Made It: Basket-maker Lois Walpole | reviews, news & interviews

We Made It: Basket-maker Lois Walpole

We Made It: Basket-maker Lois Walpole

Weaving works of art from 'ghost gear' and the detritus of consumerism

Lois Walpole: making something out of nothing

Basket-making is one of the world’s oldest and most universal crafts. It predates pottery by thousands of years and features in tall tales from the very beginnings of recorded history. According to a creation myth from ancient Mesopotamia, the Babylonian god Marduk made the earth from wicker scattered with dust – and since then many lesser beings have constructed traps, shields, furniture and storage vessels by weaving together whatever plant or animal fibres they had to hand.

Basket-making is one of the world’s oldest and most universal crafts. It predates pottery by thousands of years and features in tall tales from the very beginnings of recorded history. According to a creation myth from ancient Mesopotamia, the Babylonian god Marduk made the earth from wicker scattered with dust – and since then many lesser beings have constructed traps, shields, furniture and storage vessels by weaving together whatever plant or animal fibres they had to hand. The Iñupiaq people of Alaska even made baskets from baleen, the bristly filtering material found in the mouths of whales.

Basket-maker Lois Walpole’s choice of medium is no less unusual. She weaves functional, environmentally conscious works of art from all manner of modern detritus. Here she talks about working with “ghost gear”, the abandoned fishing tackle that plagues the world’s seas, for her latest exhibition, at the Shetland Museum and Archives in Lerwick – and the satisfaction that comes from making something out of nothing. Read the article on the Bruichladdich website.

Read other articles in We Made It, our series on craft in partnership with Bruichladdich

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