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Brendan Farren

Brendan Farren Basketweaver
English, French, Spanish
By appointment only
+353 862187242
©Les Denman

In harmony with nature

  • • Brendan grows his own raw materials
  • • He is compelled to make beautiful things
  • • He enjoys the freedom his craft gives him

Having worked across a number of creative jobs from engineering to graphic design, Brendan Farren took up weaving in 2000. He often produces large scale sculptures, which no doubt draw on his engineer’s mind. He lives his craft and has created a self-built home, with a farm where he can live and work with sustainability at the core. Willow is intrinsically linked to the Irish landscape; the Irish climate being ideal for growing this plant. Brendan cultivates his own materials, allowing him to be connected to the process from the very beginning. In this way he can ensure his raw materials are mindfully produced, planting the colours he requires, or rods with different flexibility for different tasks.

Read the full interview


  • ©Les Denman
  • ©Les Denman
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  • ©Les Denman
  • ©Les Denman
Photo: ©Les Denman
Potato Skib

A potato skib is a very traditional Irish basket. It serves many purposes, including sieving boiled potatoes, and serving them with a bowl of salt using it as a makeshift bowl. The remains of the potatoes used to be thrown out for the hens to clean up and after the skib was washed clean, it was often hung on the wall to dry. Brendan Farren loves the practicality that the skib represents and its link to the landscape.

Height 8 cm
Diameter 40 cm

Photo: ©Les Denman
Catalan Platter

This platter serves the purpose of receiving hot pots in the centre of your dinner table. Brendan used three different colours of willow to give a dynamic contrast to the simple shape. It's the two 'lugs', or handles sticking out of each side which gives this platter it's unique and interesting shape.

Diameter 30 cm

Photo: ©Les Denman

Decorative piece in willow and driftwood. A curlew is the largest sea wading bird in Europe, and is also on the Red List in Ireland.

Length 60 cm
Width 20 cm
Height 45 cm

Photo: ©Les Denman

This sculpture of a heron was a commission from a community allotment in Derry. The beak is wrapped in copper wire, the neck is woven using a single rod rand with an odd number of uprights, and the body is a random weave, to give the impression of wings and feathers. The challenge always for Brendan Farren is to make it look alive, getting the curves right.

Height 45 cm
Width 40 cm

Photo: ©Les Denman
Creel, Frame Basket and Bunch of Willow

This composition of two baskets plus the natural material with which they're made sums up for Brendan Farren a basketmaker's journey. From growing and gathering the willow from nature, through to its preparation and the formation of two iconic baskets; the squareness of a creel, made upside down, woven with 18 rods at once, to the simplicity of a rounded frame basket, 2 hoops, and one weaving rod at a time.

Length 40 cm
Width 50
Height 60 cm

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