The Basketry Then and Now project has five key strands of research, although others may emerge as the project progresses and interest is sparked in new areas. As our team of researchers complete their work, we’ll be sharing details of their research here.

- Baskets for the military effort: the importance of basketmaking in the military effort, e.g. including artillery shell baskets, pigeon carriers, aircraft seats, stretchers etc.

- Baskets on the home front: the importance of basketmaking in everyday life during the period 1914–19, e.g. baskets used in food, fishing and farming, including a consideration of regional traditions.

- Basketry as therapy: the therapeutic use of basketmaking during the conflict, and its legacy in terms of the perception of basketmaking and the study of therapeutics.

- Willow as a sustainable resource: the value of willow as a sustainable material through a historical perspective, a contribution to the notion of ‘low carbon pasts, low carbon futures’ developed by the Heritage Hub at the University of Hertfordshire.

- The regional willow industry: The regional willow industry during the First World War and its aftermath

Download summaries of the project research here

Dryad and the MERL artillery shell basket - Mary Crabb

Making an artillery shell basket - Mary Crabb

The Orsett Basket Works, Essex - Selena Chandler

Aeroplane seats and balloon baskets - Bunty Ball

Basketmaking and rehabilitation - Tim Palmer

Willow growing in Castle Donington - Maggie Cooper

Styles of baskets in Castle Donington - Maggie Cooper

Basketmakers of Castle Donington - Maggie Cooper

Pigeon baskets - Greta Bertram

Basketry as occupational therapy - Stephanie Bunn

Woven communities - Stephanie Bunn

Find out more about our researchers here.