Mary Butcher trained with a traditional basketmaker, Alwyne Hawkins, in Kent. She used willow and rush, our traditional materials, making functional items for local markets. A Research Fellowship at Manchester Metropolitan University alerted Mary to a wealth of new creative possibilities with a wider range of materials and markets.
She still uses natural materials, plus plastics, wire, strings, paper to make containers, willow drawings and sculptures on different scales. She was Crafts Council Designer in Residence at the V&A in 2009, received an MBE for services to basketmaking in 2012 and was one of two Crafts Skills Champions, in 2013, an award for transmission of traditional skills, an activity she feels passionate about.