A fully qualified Basketmaker and teacher, specialising in designing and making high quality traditional and contemporary Welsh baskets inspired by the colours and materials of the landscape. Growing, and weaving with, around 30 varieties of willow, following organic principles, in a field managed for biodiversity in Pembrokeshire.A Maker’s Guild in Wales selected member, the high standard of her craftsmanship have been recognised nationally and her work is permanently exhibited at Crafts in the Bay.In 2018 she was commissioned to weave the contemporary Rope Coil basket to introduce the Plant Section for the Gweithdy Craft Gallery at the National Museum of Wales.She has taught for the Basketmaker’s Association and at the Willow Gathering 2019 in Iowa, delivers City and Guilds accredited training, and considers high quality, reflective, progressive and continuous teaching an extremely important aspect of her work.With the help of funding from the BA and the Heritage Crafts Association Clare has researched and recreated traditional Welsh baskets such as the Cyntell, the Welsh Shopper, the hazel Penclawdd Cockle Basket, the Llangwm Fisherwoman's Back Pannier and the Welsh Tea Things basket.
Clare ReveraI make traditional and non-traditional welsh baskets and other willow items inspired by the colours and materials of the landscape around me. I am passionate about working with natural, sustainable materials found in the local countryside, hazel, willow and birch in particular. I also grow my own materials in my garden, on my field in Pembrokeshire and local community spaces. I weave these materials into functional, useful baskets, sculptures and items for the home and garden, using age-old traditional techniques and designs but adding my own sense of individuality in terms of the colours and the decorative features which I add. I am particularly interested in local baskets and regularly make the round Cyntell in a variety of sizes, the lighter weight Welsh shopper and Welsh Tea Things basket and the Gower Cockle Picking Basket. I love the fact that these baskets have been woven and used throughout time in Wales. I have learned the skills and techniques for weaving these baskets from master craftsmen who are dedicated to passing on their skills. My contemporary Zarzo and Rope Coil baskets emphasize the curve of the willow and also use interesting woodland embellishments to enhance their beauty such as found twisted hazel handles and seed buttons.As a Maker’s Guild in Wales selected member and Yeoman Member of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers the high standard of my craft skills have been recognised nationally. My work is permanently exhibited at Crafts in the Bay. In 2018 I was commissioned to weave the contemporary basket to introduce the Plant Section for the new Craft Gallery at the National Museum of Wales.I am committed to sharing my own skills with others. I have taught for the UK Basketmaker’s Association, deliver City and Guilds accredited training, and consider high quality teaching an extremely important aspect of my work.
What craft do you work with?
As a primary school teacher I introduced willow to my class – after a very short half day course using the material myself I was hooked!20 years of making, learning and teaching so far …..Adapting traditional techniques to contemporary function.
What inspires you to work with this craft?
Sustainablility, texture, therapy. Basketweaving is the oldest craft practiced in every society across the globe. The vast array of techniques produce beautiful functional and non-functional items.I love to use materials which are local to me in every way, willow and hazel particularly.
How do you start your creative process?
Growing my own material – harvesting, tending, loving.Sorting material for use, taking inspiration from the colours, textures and scent.Working with the material. Respecting traditional techniques but adapting for a contemporary market.Getting the balance between teaching and making – and home life is the most difficult part.
How would you best describe your workspace and what tools could you not do without?
A purpose built wood and tin workshop which is sunny with a sea view. Full of baskets and basket components for inspirationMy curved knife and small workbench with vice.
Are there new techniques you would like to try?
Absolutely! I will be learning and experimenting for the rest of my life!
What have you learnt or the best advice you have received that you would like to share with fellow crafters?
Stay open minded, enjoy working in different ways, follow your inspirations.
What other types of craft do you dream of collaborating with?
Wood fired ceramics? Wood turning and greenwood techniques?
What professional dream do you have?
I am looking forward to spending more time making and less time teaching and travelling when I finish teaching my City and Guilds groups (2024). I would love to write a book on Welsh Baskets. I would love to set aside a 3 month period for Creative Development – immersing myself in making.
Media & Contact
Freelancing: Clare Revera Welsh Baskets
Other: Basketmaker’s Association and Heritage Craft Projects into Endangered Baskets
Clare Revera – Ogmore by Sea apart from the last one. Oriel Myrddin Carmarthen
Ogmore by Sea
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