What We Do

Visit to Kew Gardens - 9 November 2012

kew4Our visit to Kew Gardens proved to be a highly enjoyable and inspirational day.  We started with an introduction  to the Economic Botany Collection started in the mid 19th century, its original purpose being to show the human use of plants around the world.   We looked around the " Plants + People" permanent exhibition which displays about 500 specimens including a variety of basketry items and materials.  The main purpose of our visit, though, was to view, by special arrangement, some of the baskets and materials in the Economic Botany Collection. Ruth Stungo was our guide; she allowed us to handle part of Maurice Bichard's collection. These were basketry items from around the world; they were made from a wide variety of techniques and materials including esparto grass, and baobab bark. Ruth had also selected some especially unusual and exquisite pieces for us to view. These included a fine net of of pineapple fibre, Austalian aboriginal knotted bags, a plaited twill hat and a Japanese birch bark basket. Many thanks to Mark and Ruth for allowing us this wonderful opportunity.

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