A beautiful willow garden trug is a joy to behold, (and fill with fruit, flowers and vegetables!)
My version of the willow garden trug is handwoven with a mix of Black Maul and Dicky Meadow willow. Sympathetic to the original English trug with all traditional techniques, this trug has been developed with modern detailing and a chunky handle. I've also created the trug to be the ultimate size for cut flowers, vegetables and merry arm swinging!
Size, w32cm x L55cm x h(including handle) 26cm from £85.
Process wise, I first create a replica of the original that I have usually found in an antique shop or museum (my replica trug is above left in the photo). I will then use the basket, (carrying lots of homegrown vegetables!) trying to understand every reason to it's function, form and detail. Then finally, when I'm ready, I will begin creating...
'Zig zag' weave detail in Dicky Meadows willow. Much loved by basketmakers, this variety of willow gives endless delight to me in the way it changes colour through from growing, harvesting to being prepared. It flexes wonderfully, looks like mottled velvet and weaves like silk.
Being lucky enough to live in idyllic rural Devon, I've often noticed my neighbours' Phil and Jo's beautiful old English willow trug as they walk daily back and forth to their allotment behind my home.
I simply had to borrow their trug and see if I could recreate it before developing my own version. Most likely made in the early 20thC and once buff willow in colour but now faded to grey, (see accompanying above image), this delicate and much loved basket proved to be of great inspiration to me.
The more I recreate traditional English baskets that I've found in antique shops or museums, the more I realise that there is no need, so to speak, to rip up the rule book of traditional English baskets. Baskets can be updated with style, colour and beautiful detail whilst retaining both their functionality and original techniques.