Straw Crafts Club Update
We’re into the fourth week of our winter evening craft sessions using oat straw, and it’s been really encouraging to see the groups progressing their skills in the endangered basketry techniques of kishie making, knotted straw (Fair Isle) and coiled stitched straw.
Fair Isle chairmaker, Eve Eunson is leading the sessions together with museum curator Ian Tait and Deepa Shah from Hymhus, the basket making group in Bigton.
There are around seven participants in each of the three groups and all are making baskets but in different shapes and forms.
It’s been a lengthy (and messy!) process but now the groups are moving beyond the tricky stages of the project and getting into the rhythm and flow of making the baskets. The kishie baskets are well underway, and next week the group will be starting to finish up their work. Handles will soon be added to the coiled stitched straw baskets and the knotted straw group are continuing with their baskets from a square wooden base.
It’s been a fun, sociable series of evenings and by the very nature of them being collaborative sessions it’s meant that people have been able to ask plenty of questions and bounce ideas off one another.
Eve emphasised: “There are very few straw crafts’ experts out there so it’s vital that these skills and knowledge are passed on so that more people can learn and keep the techniques going. I’m delighted that there has been such a positive response to the classes, and we hope to do more in the future.”
We’ll share photos of the finished baskets in the next couple of weeks.
Photos by Jordan Clark
- Close up of the coiled stitched straw basket base
- A birds eye view of the three different types of basketry techniques taking place in the museum auditorium: kishie making, knotted straw (Fair Isle), and coiled stitched straw
- Close up of a kishie
- Twisting the straw into simmens for kishie making
- Ian Tait who is running the kishie workshops, explaining how to sort the oat straw