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ABOVE Basket With Bogwood Curl
  • LEFT Bog Myrtle Bowl
  • MIDDLE Frame Basket on Fichsia Wood
  • RIGHT Inward Sloping Bark Basket
  • LEFT Saved from the Saw

Joe Hogan

I was drawn to basketmaking because I wanted to grow my own willow (the raw material for baskets) and I sensed that this involvement from growing through to making would prove deeply satisfying.

This has indeed proved to be the case and over the last 30 years of basketmaking growing my own rods and sourcing several varieties with different qualities has profoundly influenced the way that I work. The opportunity to live rurally and develop a real understanding for a particular place is also very important to me.

I take some time each year to try new ideas and to make new designs but I also value repetition and the fluency it develops.

For the past 10 years or so I have become increasingly interested in making non-functional baskets. Some of these baskets involve using twigs with willow catkins, larch cones, bog myrtle or similar wild material.

Many of the baskets involve the use of finds of bog wood from a wonderful area of wild isolated bog land about 5 miles from where I live. I also sometimes use tree holes or markings on the bark of trees as a basis for a basket. This work is prompted by a desire to develop a deeper connection to the natural world.

My concern in this work is to reawaken a sense of wonder and I am not always certain during the making process exactly how the basket will turn out, especially when using a piece of found wood as the basis for the basket.

This is in sharp contrast to the making of functional baskets where I have a clear idea of exactly what the finished basket will be before even cutting a base stick.

Recent Awards include
1st prize basketmaking category RDS national Craft Competition, 2007 and 2008

Award of Excellence, reserve, (3500Euro), 2008 R.D.S national Craft Competition

Crafts Council of Ireland Bursary 2006
1st prize, Pinolere International Basketry Competition, Artistic Basketry, 2005

Special Mention Juan Gonzalez Farina, Artistic Basketry, 2007

Residency Patrick Dougherty, Sculpture in the Parklands, Boora, Offaly 2008


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