A right basket case
Country Life UK|March 17, 2021
From wet woodland to a warm Welsh kitchen: Nick Hammond meets the resourceful craftswoman who has woven a new career from her love for wild places
Nick Hammond

IT may not be canoeing remote waterways or trekking jungle trails in Belize, but basket weaving in Wales contains a thrill of its own for Anna Stickland. She’s more used to leading adventures, school groups, biking tours and more around the world, as well as hosting wet woodland days closer to home in the shadow of the Brecon Beacons. These days, however, she gets her kicks from the more prosaic sounding rural craft.

‘I occasionally do woodland work with the army and get plenty of stick about my basket weaving, believe me,’ Miss Stickland laughs. ‘It amuses them to refer to me as a basket case!’

After deciding to have a go at weaving via a short course a few years ago, she is pleasantly surprised to find her order book now bulging with requests for rustic baskets. They range in size and style from little gardening trugs to elephantine log baskets— and everything else in between.

‘I get commissions all the time, all sorts of weird and wonderful things, from Moses baskets to coasters and Christmas decorations,’ reveals Miss Stickland. ‘I was so pleased when I managed to sell my first basket and, now, I have my own website and I’m kept busy most of the week, weaving away.’

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