Meet the Maker: Esmé Hofman
‘When I introduce myself as basket weaver people tend to drop out instantly, just as they do with the word craftswoman. That is why I call myself wickerwork designer, which I am too and seems to work better for people. That is how I attract the audience I want to attract. In the Netherlands there are still bad associations with crafts. People associate it with being a hobby. I started in 1994. I read a book about how to lead a self-sufficient life, something that really appealed to me and still does. The book explained how to slaughter pigs and weave baskets. I decided to start out with weaving. I followed a five day workshop. After the first day I realized: this really is a crafts. I always compare it to falling in love; you are attracted to something but unable to put it to words. That is what happened to me when I first started with basketry. I studied art and cultural education, but changed course and move to Germany. There I took another education, a three year training that also taught me ‘fijnscheenwerk’ in which I am now specialized.’
What can Crafts Council do for you?
‘Crafts Council makes crafts visible by organizing exhibitions, masterclasses and projects. It has an entrance into the Dutch Design Week, but also internationally, which is great for any maker. Crafts Council makes colorful exhibitions with a mix of crafts and design. Unfortunately Cultural funds still have too little knowledge of what is happening in the makers scene. Because I do not have the right art school diploma I cannot apply for funding in the crafts scene. Crafts Council Nederland might be able to change that.’