About reedsandvines by Mary Preece


These baskets and coiled forms made from natural and locally sourced materials are inspired by research into and documentation of the flora of the Shoalhaven. Family heritage, too, plays it’s part: my maternal grandmother was a CWA basketry demonstrator in Victoria and my great-great-great grandfather was a rope spinner.


This work is influenced by a life-long love of nature and the environment, passed on to me by my parents. The woven, coiled and constructed forms exhibited here are the result of investigative studio processes. I begin with the raw plant material, testing it to discover whether it can be used for basketry either green or dry. I enjoy working with reeds, vines, rushes and sedges found near my home. I have also used other common garden materials, garden gifts from friends and family and naturalised plants found plentifully on the edges of the highway. I collect twine made from jute, hemp, sisal and linen to use in my coloured baskets.


I enjoy string-making, first taught to me by artist and master basket weaver Jim Walliss. Some reeds are twisted semi-dry into coils. I mostly use blanket stitch to create an open, coiling stitch to create a tight structure, allowing the natural beauty and texture of the plant to reveal itself. Each form is individual, varied by shape, size and combinations of materials and edge techniques.


In January 2020 I will be tutoring the Summer Basketry School at Sturt Craft School, Mittagong.


@reedsandvines work is for sale only by private sale via contact form and at selected exhibitions