Significant Figures: basketmaker, Mary Crabb


Significant Figures

Talks and workshops with basketmaker Mary Crabb

From a childhood spent making, Mary Crabb now makes small woven non-functional decorative objects. Working with fine flexible materials, Mary weaves using adapted traditional basketry techniques. With a background in primary teaching and museum education, a large portion of her practice is sharing what she makes, introducing basketry and its many techniques to new audiences.

Mary Crabb, Memorial Plaque 2

Most recently Mary has been developing some work which combines her curiosity in the links between basketry and textiles, connects with her interest in heritage and uses her hand skills to visualise mathematical thinking. She has called the collection of work Significant Figures, the people and numbers. In 1916 her Grandmother’s boyfriend, Cecil, was killed during WW1 in France. Through the work Mary has made she hopes to tell Cecil’s story, by identifying facts and figures from his short life and the seventy-six years her Grandmother, Elsie, remembered him.

Mary Crabb, Medal

“A copy of Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich was presented by Cecil to his school library when he left school and volunteered for army service in December 1915. The woven cord I have made binds the book and has 245 knots on it. Each knot represents a member of the school community who lost their life in service. The cord can be unwound from the book and passed through the hands. It gives a real sense of the number of lives lost.”  – Mary Crabb

Mary Crabb, Counting The Cost

Mary’s new talk Significant Figures provides a personal offering of the people, and the processes of making, from concept to finished object, sharing the experiments, materials and techniques used in the work.
Available from September 2017. For further information please contact Mary,, or visit her website for full details of her workshops and talks.

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