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I have been fascinated by three-dimensional forms woven from natural materials since childhood. These forms, basically all basketry, reside at the intersection of art, nature and culture. Weaving with natural materials is a superlative blend of technical and aesthetic; artists and craftspeople who make objects of natural materials, whatever purpose the vessels or objects are meant to serve, mundane or ceremonial, must become practiced 'plant technologists' with a subtle understanding of their materials and environment, as well as aesthetes and cunning designers.
Basketry is exclusively hand made: Even the cheapest, kitschiest wicker thing you've ever laid eyes on was hand made by someone, somewhere; there are tools to help refine the materials and speed the process, but that's it. Fingers weave them, fingers hide the ends and the joins, coax the stiff to bend and save the soft from fraying, and work the materials with techniques both ingenious and diverse.
Basketry is also, for the most part, a realm of natural materials: willow, wicker, grass, and sedge; bamboo, cedar, oak and ash. The list could go on and on, for every culture of every age has sourced the materials from its lands, using whatever was available to suit the purpose. Basket makers are 'plant technologists'.
Basketry is ancient, and in the thousands of years before plastic, was fundamental to daily life and cultural expression. I believe that we all should, at the very least, know how to make one; baskets connect us to our humanity and our mortality, train our hands to 'see' and our neurons to connect, and our hearts to look at nature a with a little more depth.