Basket making and

decorative weaving

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The art of weaving. . .

. . .is the playful construction of multiple forms from natural materials and as they emerge, these are also explored and experimented with. As we move through, fields, woods and streams, the splendid majesty of nature, its simplicity, beauty and bounty is displayed all around us, if we are open to it, it offers us a wealth of inspiration.

That is how straw, branches and bamboos, instrumental for weaving, came to be used by man and in the hands of man took form. Objects were created that through the turning of time had little negative impact upon the surrounding environment.  

The joy of weaving is much like the painting of a canvas, as one engages with the turning twines something starts to form but that something is not just functional in its capacity to contain and bear weight. Stories also emerge that recall the story of mans relationship with nature and their shared cyclic capacity to regenerate.  

Waste is an innovative aspect of the current culture we find ourselves in, dominated as it is by consumerism. In the rush to buy things how can we learn what can be created from the materials around us? To make baskets, all one needs is to utilize the seasonal gifts around us. Everything is biodegradable, no pollutants are created and any unused excess foliage will compost down beautifully, so crucially there is also no waste.  

The materials

A fundamental part of the work for weaving and basket making was the sourcing of materials; recognizing them, choosing and preparing them, all this could take up to 60% of the time.

Here are some examples of plants that can be used for weaving: Willows, Old man’s beard (vitalba), bamboo, dogwoods (cornus sanguinea), olives, rushes, verbenas (lantana), elms, hazels, walnuts, vibernums and brooms.

By working with our hands, our eyes can learn to see and “discover” these simple and important plants that have always been a part of our localities but they now start to reveal themselves to us.  

With the weaving of baskets musical tales are spun

Ancient Tales

The Willow

Of all the inedible plants that accompany man through history, the willow is one that takes pride of place.

The willow has a multitude of uses: its roots stabilize water banks, its branches adapt to a variety of basket and chest forms as well as being used to tie vines (the original rural string).

When is the best time to cut willow?

How can you best work with willow?

How are traditional varieties of willow produced?

Follow the link to the Willow page - -

Creativity, decoration and art.

All through history man has been accompanied by woven artefacts but as our societies have become increasingly industrialized we have lost some of our connections to their creative expressive and decorative qualities. Our imaginations have also become somewhat limited by focusing almost exclusively upon function. Let’s liberate ourselves from this narrow mindset now and celebrate once more the artistic dimensions of weaving. We can even add to this by creating new, original and innovative structures ourselves.


  1. -contact a.magnolini@gmail.com

the base and the color gradations

Asilo nido “il cavallino a dondolo” a Bologna in inverno e ad aprile

What we offer?



Weaving and basket making courses.

Children’s workshops.

The creation of Willow plantations and the safeguarding of local varieties.

Facilitation of dialogue between local elders and the wider, younger community.

Demonstrations of basket making at festivals and other events (with expenses reimbursed).

Organization of courses with associations in your area.

Fashioning of interiors (for homes, restaurants and museums etc.)

Making woven structures for the garden.

Bespoke art pieces.

 

“Celtic” Baskets

Lamp with “Arundo Donax

“gavagn” baskets from Romagna

Weaving panels- S. Giovanni in Galilea Museum (FC)

Cavan

Woven fencing, follow link here  http://www.flickr.com/photos/tecnologieappropriate

Latest News: We are trying to create small groups of people interested in weaving, so that after an initial introduction local groups can form. These can then meet up occasionally, for the free exchange of weaving techniques, either in the evenings, during festivals or other events.  

A new book on basket making has just been published by Terranuova ediioni, called Basket making in Italy, a practical and regional guide to traditional methods.

“Fare cesti, manuale pratico di cesteria secondo le tradizioni italiane regionali italiane”


This book gathers together several important examples of baskets to found throughout Italy. The diverse regions showcase a broad and rich variety of techniques to be found. Six traditional baskets are presented in a step by step guide from the gathering of materials to final construction.

 

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NATURAL MATERIAL AND                                                           TRADITIONAL HAND CRAFTS


Working with Clay

Clay ovens

Baskets and decorative weaving

Self-Bioconstruction

Masonry stove

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