Lise Bech lives and works in the Southern Uplands of Scotland, where she grows a wide range of willows (Salix species) for her basketmaking. In addition to her cultivated willow beds, the local landscape provides a rich source of other traditional basketry materials (heather, fieldrush, hairmoss) and more experimental fibreplants (birch, broom) which are occasionally used for embellishment.
Her initial interest and motivation in taking up basketry was her desire to be involved with the whole process of making beautiful and useful organic objects: from the growing and harvest of the raw materials through to design and and final execution of the piece – each step satisfying her love of and commitment to the natural world. Working exclusively with Scottish willow – much of it organically grown, tended and harvested (coppiced) by hand – she weaves traditional as well as contemporary pieces for today’s lifestyle with integrity and in a sustainable fashion.
In her work Lise Bech strives to share with the onlooker her reverence for her materials, the meditative act of weaving and her almost symbiotioc relationship with her local landscape.
“I am passionate about basketmaking and get intense pleasure from using natural materials, which I hope comes across in my work”, says Bech, who received a grant from the Scottish Arts Council in 2004 to develop a new range of sensual asymmetric organic Forms, which marry her traditional technical skills with a new level of emotional expression.”
“…using sweetly scented willow, Bech’s inspirational baskets epitomize the elemental simplicity of combining natural materials with exquisite craftsmanship.
Showing subtle natural colors her baskets are beautiful & functional, beckoning us to get back in touch with the more elemental aspects of our daily lives”
Ursula Ilse-Neuman, Curator of Craft
Museum of Art & Design, New York