Sarah Paramor trained on the two-year City Lit Basketry Course in London, commuting from the Scottish Highlands to learn her craft.
She won prizes in the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers’ Basketry of the Year competition in 2017 and 2018, had work in “Basketry: Function & Ornament” (Ruthin Craft Centre, 2019), was a Craft Scotland Compass Emerging Maker in 2019, and on Applied Arts Scotland’s “Shift Canada” programme in 2019–21.
For this basketmaker, inspiration come in many forms – a fascination with manipulating a new material, couture fashion, a biographical detail...
Dark Tendril Bag - Images of a couture dress made entirely of corsetry boning led Sarah Paramor to experiment with these textured plastic strips. Bias plaiting reined the boning in (in an echo of traditional corsetry), and the material was allowed to break free at the bag’s border. Echoing a traditional technique used for the cane handles of silver teapots, the bag’s handle was wrapped with elastic.
A Bag for Isobel - Celebrating Scottish explorer and botanist Isobel Wylie Hutchison, this bag is based on a vasculum, carried by botanists to collect and transport plant samples. Plaiting hairmoss (Polytrichum commune), an unassuming plant that grows abundantly in Scotland, and stitching it with waxed linen, resulted in a tweedy bag with an unexpected green, mossy, living element. Part of Craft Design House’s collection for Carlowrie Castle.
Shoes for Mary - Jennifer Green (Canada) and Sarah Paramor (Scotland) used weaving and basketmaking to interrogate how place influences identity. Inspiration came from Mary Campbell who, having survived the perilous sea journey from Applecross to Nova Scotia in 1803, “took charge of the cows and with a sickle she reaped enough food for the three cows for the winter”. Mary later drowned, “crossing in a boat alone, taking a tub of butter to a shoemaker in payment for his work”. From natural materials and maps from both locales, the two makers, working on opposite sides of the ocean, created two pairs of shoes, celebrating a self-reliant woman who used Highland skills to forge a fresh identity in Canada. Applied Arts Scotland, “Meet, Make, Collaborate” exhibition.
2021/22 Inverness Museum & Gallery + Mount Saint Vincent Art Gallery, Halifax, Canada, “Meet Make Collaborate”, Applied Arts Canada/Shift Canada group show.
2019/20 Galeri Caernarfon, Gwynedd, “Tir”/“Land”, group show.
2019 Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire, “Basketry: Function & Ornament”, group exhibition of the work of 30 contemporary basketmakers.
2019 Inverness Museum and Gallery, “Bags, Bottles & Baskets”, solo exhibition.
2019 Guildhall, London, Worshipful Company of Basketmakers’ 450th Anniversary Trade Fair, group show.
2018 Carlowrie Castle, Edinburgh, Isobel Wylie Hutchison Collection, Craft Design House collaboration, group show.
2018 touring Scotland, “Woven Together”, Scottish Basketmakers’ Circle Exhibition, group show.
2018 Olympia, London, Knitting and Stitching Spring 2018, City Lit group show.
2017 Craft Central, London, ‘Basketmakers’ Dozen”, group show.
2016 Morley Gallery, London, “Inspired By...”, group show.
Portrait: © Jonathan Booth, @hubphotographer
Dark Tendril Bag: © Annie MacDonald, AIM Photography
A Bag for Isobel: © Anna Deacon, annadeaconphotography.co.uk