Wickerwork is returning to favor and is constantly gaining new followers. Although this hobby may seem innocent, in reality it requires quite a bit of skill. Where to start?
Wickerwork is an activity that involves weaving various objects using sticks of wicker, reeds or rattan. It doesn’t sound like a complicated craft, does it? But let’s not be fooled by appearances – in fact, wickerwork is counted among the most demanding professions. Interestingly, to this day, no machine has been invented that would be able to crank out human hands in this field. After all, there is no room for automation and repetition in wickerwork, and each braid has its own unique, unrepeatable character. Here’s how to optimally prepare for your first unique work, although we warn you – it won’t be easy!
The basic mistake made by people starting out in any hobby is to give up after the first unsuccessful attempt. Before trying your hand at wickerwork, you need to realize that this is a field that requires not only talent, but, above all, practice and self-denial. If you prepare yourself for all sorts of setbacks and deformities at the very start, they will be much easier to accept later. Beginnings are never the easiest, and mistakes can happen even to the best – the important thing is to learn from them properly. This attitude and proper mental preparation are the key to success in wickerwork.
Once you’ve prepared yourself for the hard yet extremely rewarding work, it’s a good idea to access online tutorials or pick up braiding knowledge directly from an experienced wickerworker. The beginning of learning can vary in details, but always starts with weaving the five basic weaves. Familiarizing yourself with the techniques will allow you to make a simple yet quality braid. With increasing experience, the number of combinations will increase significantly – their art, however, is usually already worked out on its own. It should be remembered that it is strictly workshop knowledge that is crucial in the field of wickerwork. A good wicker maker is one who has at least several hundred products to his credit.
Before proceeding, of course, you need to come into possession of the material intended for weaving. You can buy it from a manufacturer or gather it on your own from a wild field – depending on your own preferences and abilities. Young and flexible twigs of wicker, willow, reed or rattan will work perfectly. Store the sticks in a damp, cool room for several days. In this way, the material acquires its target plasticity, which makes it suitable for weaving. After that, all that remains is to be patient and to boldly proceed – with a tutorial, of course, or under the watchful eye of a more skilled wickerworker.
main photo: unsplash.com/Wei-Cheng Wu