hobby a little different from the
twenty years ago (1985), being definitely retired, I wished to spend my wintry
leisure. I looked at my brothers who addicted themselves to the familial
tradition, basketry; mainly with
wickers , honeysuckle and straw of the woods. I never had practiced that
activity, but that attracted me. Then I started up…
step, the search of the materials. As for the wickers, that was not a problem,
given the numerous rootstocks bordering the two ponds in our farm. Every fall,
they are cut, one only has to choose
the best shoots according to the
delicate is the collection of honeysuckle: That little creeper is located in the
hedges and copses where it grows,
coiling up around hazelnut trees and shrubberies. At that development stage it
is impossible to use: too curled up
and fragile. One has to find plots of wood newly cleared . Indeed, the
honeysuckle plants, due to the lacking of support grow on the ground, possibly
amid brambles and dead leaves. One easily finds
the young creepers that rapidly grow
( three to six feet lengthy by year) At that phase, honeysuckles are
rectilinear and flexible.
The creepers have to be denuded from their rare leaves and rind. For that , one has to do a skein of creepers and to coil it in a basin of hot water. Almost immediately, it is easy to pinch each stem between two fingers and drag it to denude it. So, we have a thin creeper like rattan, very flexible and fairly strong to traction and twisting.
for the wood’s straw, it is a high graminaceae straw,
two to five feet high that grows by the slopes and paths of the woods.
Alas, now it's hard to collect that special straw, because the public
streets service mowing it too frequently. The spared locations are rare. That
straw has to be reaped in fall season, before frost and rotting.
have to concede that my first attempts were very hard and little successful. I
needed a lot of patience to
reach an acceptable result…
basketry’s manufacture allows
free rein to creativity for basketry’s forms and sizes once controlled the use
of the materials. As for me, it was a matter of
baskets and wastebaskets ,structure
made in wicker and braiding in honeysuckle. On the other hand, objects in
woods straw from simple wastebasket to a fisher’s basket with shoulder strap.
about ten years, the P.C. had replaced the basketry… In this 2005/06 winter
I felt the need of split my pastimes. My decision was a little belated so
I had difficulty finding the
adequate honeysuckle .
a little basket is completed… it’s below: on the left at the beginning, on
the right almost finished… but not particularly attractive. Later, I’ll daub
it with a personal varnish made of propolis
(bee-glue) and industrial alcohol. That will give it a bronze color and
defend it from wood-eating insects.
illustrate my speech, a good picture being worth a thousand words, I got
together a few specimen of my makings…
the left, those made of woods-straw,
varied forms. On the right, those of wickers and honeysuckle.