Basket Case: Using Weaves to Create Lighting
Something we always aim to pass onto our readers is how we like to use unusual materials and textures to add an unexpected detail to a room. Often, I find these to be materials everyone can forage from their homes and repurpose, which I think is so exciting.
One of my favourite materials has to be basket weaving. Baskets are both functional and decorative. When you really stop to notice, the intricacy and the beauty in a handcrafted basket or weave is breathtaking.
Here are four ways we use baskets or basket techniques to create exciting lighting. I hope this inspires you to get creative and repurpose some of your own household baskets.
Use in Abundance
I find using anything in abundance creates impact and drama. These woven basket pendant lights on Ham Yard Hotel’s Roof Terrace are hung in a flock of dangling orbs, floating at different heights above the wicker furniture below. Individually they are beautifully crafted but relatively simple. To create a sense of arrival into this outdoor space, I used as many as possible to draw people out into the hotel’s outdoor oasis.
One of my favourite art pieces is the basket installation from The New Craftsmen above the Whitby Bar. It is a powerful celebration of baskets and this age-old craft. We hung the 52 ‘Baskets of Britain’ from a horizontal ladder above the bar and placed little pendant lights between them so the light could dance through the woven gaps.
The installation celebrates Britain’s distinct basket making heritage. Each basket is rooted in practice and place, echoing local culture and histories, and visually demonstrating the diversity of the tiny island of Britain. Each basket has a little descriptive label hanging from it, detailing the purpose and origin behind the basket. I love to imagine one of our guests enjoying a martini at the bar, glancing up and reading about a Northumbrian Fish Wife’s Creel.
Using woven lampshades is always a fun way to add texture to a space.
Here I used this lovely pair of Ratan shades on a sconce, next to this impactful twisted palm fibre shade. Together they add texture and create a more dynamic scheme.
I adore these PET Lamps which I have used both in The Whitby Hotel in New York and Ham Yard Hotel in London.
As a response to the contamination of the Colombian Amazon, designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón designed these beautiful colourful woven pendants made from recycled plastic bottles.
Using the surface of the bottle as the wrap on which to weave, Alvaro worked with local craftsmen to create the weft.
Local textiles are woven to create gorgeous traditional basket shape designs. The original structural form of the bottle top remains in place. You can learn more about these beautiful lights HERE.