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© Julie Johnston
© Julie Johnston

Bob Johnston

Bob Johnston Basketweaver
Contact
English
Hours:
By appointment only
Phone:
+44 7762591100
© Julian Calder

Sculptures born of the environment

  • • Bob specialises in Victorian-style willow trophy heads
  • • He uses up to 40 different types of willow in each sculpture
  • • He made sculptures for a Game of Thrones season premiere

Bob initially trained as a textile weaver and feels weaving with willow is a similar process in many ways, since it also involves interlacing fibres. He now specialises in wall-hung, Victorian-style willow trophy heads, creations of aesthetic vision and skill involving manipulating a basic willow rod into a beautiful form. Basketry is one of the oldest crafts known to man. Bob blends traditional, standard weaving techniques with a more random, dense, swirling weave to create beautiful, realistic and organic sculptures that are exciting and relevant to today's world.

Read the full interview

Works

  • © Julie Johnston
  • © Julie Johnston
  • © Julie Johnston
  • © Julie Johnston
  • © Julie Johnston
Photo: © Julie Johnston
Willow Moose Trophy Head

This handwoven willow sculpture of a moose head was inspired by Victorian game trophies. The life-size sculpture was commissioned by a Canadian client for his summer holiday cabin and is intended to be hung on a wall.

Height 100 cm
Length 145
Width 60

Bob Johnston Basketweaver
Photo: © Julie Johnston
Framed Stag

This handwoven willow sculpture of a stag head was inspired by Victorian game trophies and is intended to be hung on the wall. Bob’s sculptures have evolved from his mastery of traditional basket-weaving techniques used to make mummer’s masks, but unlike basketry, these contemporary pieces are innovative and original as there is no pattern to follow.

Height 150 cm
Length 110
Width 60

Bob Johnston Basketweaver
Photo: © Julie Johnston
Large Moose Trophy Head

Using eight varieties of willow, this handwoven willow sculpture of a moose head drew its inspiration from Victorian game trophies. It was crafted over a wire frame to support the wide span of the rack. The process for Bob’s pieces starts with personally growing more than 40 varieties of willow, giving him a wide range of colours and textures.

Height 100 cm
Length 165
Width 70

Bob Johnston Basketweaver
Photo: © Julie Johnston
Stag Trophy Head

Bob personally grew the willow used for weaving this life-size stag head. The dense, random, swirling weave builds up a texture full of movement. Bob creates contemporary renditions of familiar animals using age-old basket-weaving techniques that he has adapted for his innovative designs.

Height 120 cm
Length 95
Width 60

Bob Johnston Basketweaver
Photo: © Julie Johnston
Elvis

This wall-hung life-size head of a Highland cow is the most successful sculpture Bob has made to date. The natural colours and flowing character of the willow rods lend themselves perfectly to the handwoven piece. Using personally grown willow, Bob adapts traditional basketry techniques to create original contemporary sculptures that follow no classic pattern or formula.

Height 80 cm
Length 100
Width 60

Bob Johnston Basketweaver

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