Stella Harding: Manual Work beyond the Boundaries of Tradition

“Basketry deserves to be appreciated as a living, evolving tradition that develops with each new generation.”

She went for the visual arts when studying, but suddenly realised she should veer to sculpture. And then, in an attempt to fix her own vintage baskets, Stella enrolled in a basketry course. These two points in the life of this Sheffield born, now London based, artists where defining for her engagement to contemporary basketry.

Stella Harding weaves three-dimensional, mixed media structures: including large-scale wall pieces, site responsive installations, intricate geometric forms and wearable structures that push the boundaries of traditional basketry. And though she is drawn by the call of the wild to gather and experiment with natural materials she’s also keen to exploit the rich harvest of discarded manufactured materials that abound on the city streets – ripe for transformation and re-cycling.

Photography by Arnold Borgerth taken at Goldsmiths’ studios

Recently she begun to explore the natural mathematics underlying traditional basketry techniques.“Despite being somewhat maths phobic I ind that my hands can grasp what my mind lets slip” she says. The spiral plait is endlessly fascinating: its relationship to universal structures in both the natural and cultural environment connects my making to cyclical patterns of growth and renewal.

Stella runs occasional basketry workshops, but if you want to know more about her and her innovative techniques, why don’t you grab No serial Number Magazine’s Summer issue. A lovely interview was made to her, where she tell us everything in relation to her work. Remember, you still can get our past issues!

The latest issue of the print magazine packed with interviews and features on eco and heritage artists and artisans is available now.

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