About Lewis Prosser
I have always been interested in heritage methods of making. particularly crafts which do not rely on specialist equipment to learn and share.
I started my career as a performance artist and traditional print-maker. I studied at the Glasgow school of Art and went on to live in Glasgow creating and producing large scale performances and events which analysed the idea of folk celebration and spectacle, something i am still interested in today.
While i love the act of performing and organizing events it did not satisfy a need to make ‘things’.
I then went on to study land based sciences- City & Guild, specializing in contemporary floral design. I worked on an off as a florist for a few years creating big installations for unique events: Floral club nights, urban flower shows, and many other weird and wonderful collaborations with local artists. Floristry introduced the idea of using natural materials and provided me with techniques which could transform fragile stems into sturdy sculptural pieces. Sustainability was not something that was on my mind, and in many ways floristry is not as sustainable as many would think, but the idea that i could use materials that could be discarded ethically and had a natural lifespan was intriguing to me.
Following this i moved to Penarth, in Wales, to become an events manager for the town. Shortly after our move we went head first into the Coronavirus Pandemic and while still able to work from home I found myself tied to the laptop and desperate for something to do with my hands. I began sourcing Willow and straw from local growers and applying the floral techniques and reading up on very traditional methods of basketry and corn dolly making and attempting to replicate them. Not only was i fascinated by the incredible usefulness of basket making but also the culture and history which surrounded it, i was learning a completely new vocabulary which took me across the world, and all i needed to participate was a few inexpensive tools and time. There is a performative aspect to baskets which i love, they shape the way people move, they are from the landscapes and representative of communities. Baskets have an interconnected and folkloric quality which is echoed in their continual relevance through history.
Friends and past collaborators soon became interested in my new craft and began commissioning works.
I am only a year in to my basketmaking journey and we are still in relative lockdown so i cannot say how my basket making practice will develop but i am thoroughly enjoying myself and so keen to learn more