Mary Crabb


Throughout my childhood I was always making. However as soon as I made my first willow basket, I knew I had to make more. An introduction to textile basketry and the suggestion to try some different materials took my making in a new direction. Working with fine flexible materials, with the use of a few simple tools, I sit on the edge of basketry and textiles, drawing skills from both areas: adapting techniques, exploring and experimenting. Most of my textile basketry work uses the technique of twining. Twining is very accessible; it doesn’t need a lot of space, expensive equipment, or even materials. You just need a lot of patience and time, as twining is slow.

More recently my practice has developed to incorporate more ‘traditional’ textile techniques such as stitching, alongside basketry. I have been thinking specifically about how I wish the viewer to engage with her work, hoping that it leaves a lasting impression, questions or emotions. I call it Story Weaving. With a background in maths teaching and museum education, work is inspired by objects and stories from the past, supported with research and experimentation to emerge into a series of pieces that tell a story through the use of facts, figures, and data.

In essence, my practice as a whole is about communication and education. As part of my practice I tutor maths, run creative workshops and offer talks. There are connections to be drawn between ‘making sense’ of maths and basketry through the communication of techniques, ideas and solving the problems or challenges that both offer. The process of communicating intrigues me, in particular the use of diagrams.