Rachel Evans delights us all with her incredible skills and beautiful and functional willow designs. An old friend of P&P, she is returning and we couldn’t be happier to be welcoming her back.

‘I am a basketmaker based in the Staffordshire Moorlands working mainly in willow. Drawing on my years of training and apprentice style learning I make a range of traditional British baskets as well as more creative, contemporary work.

I grow my own colourful willow, about half of what I use every year, using organic principles, providing habitat for insects and small mammals. Growing my own willow locally reduces my carbon footprint from shipping willow across the country. I grow unusual varieties that add colour and interest to my work. I feel it is important to try and live lightly upon the earth and this includes my business.

Our ancestors often gathered materials from around their homes to use in the making of functional baskets, developing a deep knowledge of plants and their uses. In 2020, due to lockdown, I started experimenting with other natural and wild materials found near my home, bark, garden plants, rush and hazel. I feel this use of local and natural resources is becoming more relevant to todays society, using what we have locally in a low impact way to create beautiful items that last.’