Born 1973, Boo spent her early years as an islander living in a small village on the Isle of Wight before moving to the mainland. Though she began her professional life as a fully-trained chef, she always maintained a keen interest in making things that reflected her fascination with the natural world. Known for her traditional willow basketry (as well as her gilded necklaces that are made from leaves, eggs, and other natural materials) she also makes unique needle felted creations. While her necklaces reference folkloric sources (holey stones, ancient tree lore, etc.) her needle felted subjects primarily feature small woodland birds. Since relocating to the Northwest Highlands, she has begun working on a series of native British mammals and larger birds, however. Boo offers one-to-one and group basketry tuition and accepts commissions for replica historical baskets too.
TRADITIONAL WILLOW BASKETRY
Boo uses a wide selection of willow varieties sourced from the Somerset Levels. Examples of her work pictured here are of a small shopping basket (made in Flanders Red willow); a medium-sized garden harvesting or storage basket (made from Dickie Meadows willow); a sizeable heavy-duty shopping basket; a large Somerset Willy Butt multi-use handled basket; a potato storage basket with light-proof storage bag; and a large utility basket (which can be made with a fitted calico liner, suitable for use as a laundry basket).
Necklaces that reference many sources, from folkloric 'holey stones' found on our beaches to ancient tree lore and the multitude of seeds and pods from which our ancient and ornamental woodlands have grown. Some items are gilded with variegated 18 karat Italian gold leaf and hung on brown rope cord with silver finish lobster clasp and expander chains. Others are strung on a leather thong with gunmetal clasp and expander chain. Each item is unique, being an organic item that is found, carefully preserved and lacquered, before being gilded and strung.
UNIQUE NEEDLE FELTED WILDLIFE
Often referred to as dry felting, needle felting involves the matting together of wool (Boo uses merino wools) with a variety of needle tools with barbs on them. When inserted into the wool, the fibres of the wool are bound together by the needles to construct a form. Dyed wools are mixed to achieve specific colours. The time taken to make each one varies greatly, and each is usually made to commission. As time permits, she does keep some stock too. Please feel free to enquire by email. All the birds pictured on this page are sold. (L-R: Nuthatch, Wren and Goldcrest).
Boo delivers basketry tuition on a one-to-one basis or as workshops for groups of all ages. Sizes of workshops are usually limited to up to ten students per group. This is to enable those taking part to get the most out of the session. One-to-one tuition can also be arranged as the perfect gift for somebody who wishes to try their hand at basketry for the first time. Further details about courses are available on our Basketry Enquiry Page.
I consider myself very fortunate to own one of Boo's baskets. She is a very talented person. What pictures cannot show is their absolute strength and quality. Thank you so much. I shall treasure mine. Pure craftswomanship. A. Good, Cadnam, Hampshire. I had a wonderful day weaving my first basket! Thank you Boo Dyer for your time and company. You brought out my creative side brilliantly. Very chuffed with the end product! I can highly recommend a day's weaving with Boo to calm the soul. R. Cove, Hampshire.
Genuine craftsmanship is beautiful in more ways than one. First there is the beauty of the work itself; secondly there is the beauty of the work put into it; and thirdly there is the usefulness of it. Your baskets are beautiful in all of these aspects. T. & A. Karlsson, Norberg, Sweden. I just arrived home to find that my shopping basket had arrived. It is truly gorgeous! You are a very talented lady. J. Goff, Great Bookham, Surrey. Class 10 really enjoyed their week making baskets with you, and we were incredibly impressed by the work that they produced. M. Bjerstrom, Class Teacher Your baskets are stunning. Thank you. We are so pleased with them. Matthew Selfe, Sittingbourne, Kent.