In recent years, contemporary UK basket maker Susan Early has returned to her home of Gloucestershire from France, where she studied the craft with master basket maker David Drew. Known for exploring shape and form with willow and hedgerow, Early will be exhibiting some of her latest basketry pieces at Select Festival in Stroud this May. SUSAN EARLY 5 She began weaving over 20 years ago, and since then has gradually discovered the endless design possibilities inherent to basketry. After completing a City and Guilds Diploma in Creative Basketry in 2011, Early gained an acute insight into basketry methods and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship the following year to pursue her love of the craft under Drew’s tutelage. SUSAN_EARLY_8[1] Making both traditional and contemporary baskets and sculptures, Early leads workshops while also taking part in exhibitions and working to commissions (one such project included creating a replica World War 1 “pigeon carrier” basket for a member of The Great War Society). “I aim to construct strong, comfortable baskets” she explains, “and forms that sit reassuringly in their surroundings”. SUSAN EARLY 6 One of over 150 artists exhibiting at Select this year, participating makers will explore the theme of disruption in a program curated by Dr Melanie Miller, with events spread throughout May set to inspire creativity through textiles. Founder and director Lizzi Walton affirms that it is an essential platform with which to promote emerging makers in Britain, promoting the best of the applied arts throughout the UK and abroad. Select Festival will be held from 29 April – 28 May

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