Hatton Willow

Sarah Hatton, a willow weaver based in Caerphilly, South Wales, grows 26 varieties of willow and transforms them into traditional and contemporary baskets. From IT disillusionment to proud full-time artisan, her journey unfolds.

Hatton Willow

Edition One Feature (September 2020)
Words by: Sarah Hatton 
Location: Caerphilly, South Wales, UK
Photo Credits: ©Polly Thomas @pollythomasphoto / ©Sarah Hatton

I am a willow weaver, making both traditional and contemporary baskets, situated in Caerphilly in the valleys of South Wales, in the UK. I also grow 26 varieties of willow so that I can see the material through from planting to weaving. I work in a workshop at my house. It’s not glamorous, as it used to be an extra-wide garage, but it’s getting there. I own a five-acre plot with my dad a short walk from my home, where I keep a horse and pony and grow my willow. 

I couldn’t believe that soaking a bundle of sticks in water would make them flexible enough to weave. Or that you could then intertwine them in different ways to make strong, fascinating and beautiful vessels. I then discovered the huge variety of colours and sizes of willow – the possibilities are endless. I enjoy being able to create something beautiful, from something that I’ve grown myself, and stand back and say that I’m proud of it. 

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