Sculpture project with Tim Johnson
Sculpture and contemporary basketry artist: Tim JohnsonApprentices: Elke Hegmann, Gloria Bohn, Evey Kwong All images credit to Tim Johnson
Swiss vernacular whisk broom
For generations, the Swiss folks own a tradition of whisk broom-making for their daily use. These brooms, typically made of purple moor-grass are an inconspicuous whisk brooms made by women farmers, braided in fall for the use of cleaning wooden stove surfaces.
This simple utilitarian object symbolises the women’s occupation and matriarchy. Today, the wooden stoves are no longer in use and with the increasingly disappearing marshes, this tradition is lost. (wip)
Optically, the fibre and length looks very similar to the South East Asian mangrove palm, in which the natives uses its stems to make whisk brooms called, “penyapu lidi”. (wip)
A happy family of Ybriger, Urner and Habkern Handbeseli with differing techniques made of purple moor-grass species. The bottom mini version is an improvisational Ybriger design by industrial designer, Flavia Brändle.
With the man’s lost sense of intuition towards work with hands, how do we revive crafts? Because a craft technique do not belong to or derived from a specific region, we experiment with workshop formats by encouraging improvisation through non-restrictive technique teaching and the use of locally sourced materials. The imagination through making is the central focus of the workshop. ‘Thinking by making’ is a reaction of the current cul-de-sac phenomena of man losing their instinct to nature. These sociological enquiries into the alienation implicit in global capitalism’s increasingly atomised and deskilled production processes.
Workshop concept & teaching: Evey KwongProject coordination: Jan LindenbergRiso print: Dahier
Löwen.haus’s strong emphasis with local context via the use of local sourced materials is in lined with futurprimitiv’s approach on a non-didactic way of teaching (co-creation). It is an example of how crafts learning could be engaged apart from mastering the techniques to facilitate creativity.
Picture credits to Hirofumi Abe and Stephan Fallucchi
In the Silesian Beskids mountain, I was fortunate to be introduced and learned the skills from the last local basketmaker, Jan Zogata. The main unique material used are spruce roots. What is more exceptional is the construction of the cross-base structure.
A second private residency learning from Carlos Fontales Ortíz, a Spanish basketmaker, teacher and researcher.
Day 1: We started with the soft material: sedges
Day 2: Harvesting and processing rushes from the neighbourhood.
Braiding and coiling
Impressions of weaving with sedge
Day 5: Galician folk split wood basket. Through his contact with the immensed wealth of traditional Galician basketry making that developed among farmers and fishermen, what survived was the memory and the knowledge of some of the oldest people in Galicia.
This basketry method is particularly widespread throughout the north and northwest of the peninsula (Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia). The Galician split wood baskets are known for its sheer elegance in form and fineness.
We joined Encik Raman, a Semai tribe of Senoi group gentleman to learn to build a day-shelter their way. Among raw material collects are the Bertam leaves (Eugeissona) and the main standing structure from trees.
5 days living off-grid with the Lun Bawang ethic communities in Central Northern Borneo: Almost all of the traditional economical and self-sustained activities of the Lun Bawangs are related to rice plantation, and they cultivate both rice on hill and from paddy field. The production of rice is related to ones' prestige/financial status, as excess of rice harvest are traditionally consumed in huge irau feast, signifying wealth and fortune. Cooked rice is wrapped inside banana leaves called Luba' Laya, and rice is also brewed into rice wine or burak for practical reasons.
Manual harvesting is common across Asia. It involves cutting the rice crop with simple hand tools like sickles. The harvesting method is very effective when a crop has lodged or fallen over, however it is labor intensive. Manual harvesting requires 40 to 80 hours per hectare and it takes additional labor to manually collect and haul the harvested crop.
We went through different stages of turning paddy to rice. As paddy is farmed traditionally here, the work involved is highly laborious. Ripe stalks of paddy are hand-harvested, threshed, sun-dried, cleaned, and finally milled with the help of home scale milling machine.
Thinking by making: site specific weaving with bamboo and rice straw.