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The beauty of basketry‏

Over 500 people have visited basketmaker Mary Butcher’s studio at the V&A since the start of her residency in July 2009.

Open days have allowed visitors to see and handle new work that Mary Butcher has been working on, see the variety of materials she uses, including threads, wires, barks, inner barks and willow, and find out more about her craft.

Visitors have also been encouraged to contribute to the 3D visitor’s book Mary Butcher has created; by signing a length of paper string tape that is then knotted to an elegant net piece on the studio wall visitors can record their visit and help create a striking piece of woven art.

In celebration of the residency basketry was also the focus of an exhibition at Origin: the London Craft Fair this year. The Origin Intervention included giant birds-nest structures built on the exterior of the Origin pavilion by Laura Ellen Bacon and a basket walkway covering a corner of the Somerset House courtyard by Lee Dalby.

Mary Butcher’s six-month residency ends in December and includes four more open studio days; 20, 27 November and 5, 6 December, offering the chance to visit the studio of one of the UK’s most prolific and skilled basketmakers.