Lise Bech | Studio Insights | Two Hemispheres10 Feb 2021
Lise Bech, originally from Denmark, now lives and works from her studio in Fife where she grows a wide range of willows (Salix species) for her basket making. Lise’s 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 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.
I made my first basket whilst living in Northern Ireland under the expert tuition of the aptly named Ms Greenwood! When I moved to Scotland she gave me one hundred willow cuttings thus ensuring I would ‘keep my hand in’. That was the start of my love affair with willow. Growing my own materials keeps me connected with the seasonal rhythms and has fostered a sense of pride and integrity with regards to the final product – homegrown, organic, carefully harvested and lovingly handmade in ScotlandLise Bech
Having lived among the Southern Uplands of Scotland for many years and drawn inspiration and solace from their embrace, I have moved to another undulating landscape which speaks volumes: The Paps of Fife. Living close to the earth through gardening, growing my own willows and caring deeply for the planet co-operation, collaboration and community continues to be the touchstones which inform my life and work as a basketmaker.Lise Bech
I approach my weaving sessions as a conversation on a playdate where the give-and-take between maker and material transforms a bundle of sticks into a tactile image of mutuality. Working exclusively with Scottish willows I aim to show the variety and beauty of different varieties and their forgiving nature, and to create lively, appealing sculptural forms which echo the landscape that surrounds me.Lise Bech
Please enjoy this short film below from 2010 where Lise discusses the challenges of finding weaving techniques that suit particular varieties of willow.