Jo is a basket maker, willow teacher and yoga instructor
copyright Lee Dobson photography
As a child I was often thrilled by countryside adventures with my family, fascinated by rock formations, river valleys, coastlines and wildness, my interest in this natural world developed and led me to a degree and then a Postgraduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture. Learning about plants and design, and exploring sustainability, with a postgraduate study into Utopian communities, informed my life to come.
As a member of this community and workers co op I am a mother, a basketmaker and a yoga teacher. As a basketmaker and willow worker the whole process is important to me, from growing my willow, harvesting, sorting, and drying it, to preparing the willow, soaking and mellowing, and finally creating baskets. I love the ancient connection to the landscape and our heritage that this craft offers me.
Constantly learning, I am inspired by various teachers, and love to pass on what I have learned to my students. I run regular workshops on how to make baskets, both for beginners and for more advanced students.
My own baskets follow a curvaceous and often ergonomic form as I follow the path of the willow and the body.
Discovering yoga whilst Wwoofing in Spain, I was in awe of the space this created in my body and mind after a hard days work. My teacher training, in the late 1990s began with the Iyengar tradition, but has since been informed by many other traditions and teachers, including Donna Farhi, Vanda Scaravelli, Uma Dinsmore Tuli, somatic movement and meditation. These, and training in Well Woman Yoga Therapy and Energy Healing lead my classes to be fluid, soft, following the innate wisdom of the body.