BASK IT! Talks

Crafts Council Nederland presents ‘BASK IT! talks’: a series of talks all about basketry. This year Crafts Council Nederland focuses with BASK IT! on the technique of basketry, also known as three-dimensional weaving. In this technique, the maker uses both hands and only a few tools to create a three-dimensional shape. Braiding is known as the archetype of weaving and one of the oldest techniques known to man. The loom was created from wickerwork, and automated weaving eventually led to the invention of the computer. The variety of techniques and materials and the many possibilities show us that the technique is still a source of knowledge, creativity and innovation to this day.

These talks took place on March 11, April 1, April 29 and May 20 2021. It’s possible to order the recording via the links below. 

Talk 1: BASK IT! – March 11
Talk 2: Dutch Basketry – April 1
Talk 3: Global Basketry, Connecting and Appropriation – April 29
Talk 4: A Future of Basketry – May 20

Register here for the entire series!

Talk 1: BASK IT!

March 11 2021 

Adrianus Kundert will give an introduction about the Basketclub for which he took the initiative together with Jamie Wolfond. Every month they post an assignment on Instagram in the form of an emoji, for example a baguette or an orange. Designers from all around the world participate and weave a basket. Kundert is our guest curator for BASK IT! this year!

Koos Rauws
is an expert in the history of basketry. During his talk he will focus on the history of basketry.

Esmé Hofman
is a professional weaver and belongs to the international top. She will talk about her professional practice, the potential of basketry and the challenges for the future.

Order the recording here!

Talk 2: Dutch Basketry

April 1 2021 

José Schilder (de Mythe) gives an overview of the growth, harvest and processing of willow, the different types and qualities and takes us into the possibilities of weaving with willow.

Lex Roeleveld
(Heg & Landschap) talks about the relics in the Dutch landscape and the revitalization of hedge weaving as a craft.

Chris Kabel
, designer and teacher, has a fascination for materials. Since his visit to Asia he has developed a love for basketry. He is an enthusiastic participant in the Basketclub. During this talk he will discuss his work, his love for materials and how basketry influences his work.

Order the recording here! 

Talk 3: Global Basketry, Connecting and Appropriation

April 29 2021 

This afternoon we will travel the globe in high speed. The four speakers from Hong Kong, Ghana, Colombia and Zimbabwe work with a lot of passion and love with their local craftsmen. They talk about the heritage, the weaving techniques, the use of local materials and their business. How important are the craftsmen to their business? Does colonial history play a role in how the wickerwork is received from their countries? How do you calculate a fair price for the handwork and what can we as a consumer contribute to this?

Gregory MacCarthy (Canada) founder and director of Baba tree works with a community of 250 artisans in Ghana. They communicatie who made the baskets which makes it personal and direct.

The Colombian Ana Maria Calderón Kayser director of Ames, Germany, works with more than 700 artisans from Colombia and designers from Europe.

Georgina Mubako co-director of Handcrafts Zimbabwe, works with local weavers and their beautiful traditional techniques and materials.

Penelope Luk curator of Crafts_on_Peel, a high-end gallery from Hong Kong, connects traditional craftsmen and designers for contemporary applications.

Order the recording here! 

Talk 4: A Future of Basketry

May 20 2021 

The original title of this talk was ‘the future of basketry’, but we found out that there is no unambiguous future. We have changed the title to ‘a future of basketry’. This afternoon we are introduced to a number of speakers who have immersed themselves in basketry techniques in recent years with the aim of raising certain topics. Can basketry play a role in their futurework? And if so, how?

Amandine David, designer/ researcher, talks about her work moving between traditional crafts and digital production. The last year she focused on basketry and teamed up with Esmé Hofman, whereby traditional techniques can feed the aesthetics and applications of digital production and vice versa.

Henriette Waal, designer/ art director, discusses Maristanis, a project to protect and promote the Oristano wetlands, an area on the western side of the Italian island of Sardinia. The craft of weaving with marsh grasses and reeds is a cultural activity that has supported these wetlands for 7000 years. Once a vital island economy, weaving is no longer a profitable activity, and that has resulted in the disappearance of the marsh vegetation. Waal worked on a catalogue of objects aimed at preserving the craft of weaving and at combining this with nature preservation. Waal hopes in this way to improve the socio-economic position of weavers.

Evey Kwong is designer/educator and founder of futurprimitiv. With this she calls for connection and proposes alternatives for crafts education. Craft knowledge and technology play an important role but research, pleasure in making, participating within the community, discovering new possibilities outside of basketry techniques are paramount.

Order the recording here! 


Esmé Hofman voor Asha Swillens | Foto: Mo Swillens

Read more about BASK IT! here!