From a single dandelion or bindweed, Suzie grief weaves tiny baskets, bags and other wearables that are smaller than your fingertip. The braided vessels are the result of a lengthy, holistic process that extends from collecting the wild fibers to twisting the processed cords into small, durable containers. Whether striped, checked or wrapped in rows, each basket is a testament to Grieve’s patience and ability to bring a traditional craft into an unusually small shape.
In tune with the region’s natural rhythms, Grieve collects materials from the woods and fields near her home in the Lake District, UK, with an emphasis on weeds and invasive species that are often viewed as a nuisance. “One of the things I enjoy most about working with wild forage is being aware of the seasons and cycles of the plants and the land,” she says. “In spring I collect willow bark and dandelions, in summer nettles and blackberries. Autumn is an insane rush to harvest long leaves, and in winter I spend what little sunlight there is to gather vines like honeysuckle and ivy. “
The plants go through a careful process that involves splitting the stem, peeling off the soft and spongy pulp, drying the remaining fibers, and later rehydrating the strands. “I felt a direct connection to the craft, the simple meditative rhythm of weaving, the beautiful tactile way of connecting with the land and the feeling of independence,” she says. Today she focuses on the most common and hearty types, which she twist into long strings into wide, sloping bowls, baskets with handles, or pouches just big enough to fit a pebble.
Besides creating more goods to sell her shop, Grieve is currently working on a book describing her techniques. It also has an extensive archive of tutorials on processing the natural fibers her side and Instagramwhere you can also see more of the miniatures. (above Lustik)
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