Friday, April 23, 2010

European Baskets at Draíocht

If you visit Blanchardstown Shopping Centre don't forget that just across from the Cinema entrance is Blanchardstown Library, one of the best libraries in the country with a great selection of literature among the others on its shelves.

Next door to that is the Draíocht Arts Centre which usually has an interesting exhibition which can be a wonderful antidote to walking the aisles in Penneys or Dunnes looking for shoes that are cheap, wide fitting, slip-on and black.

The current Draíocht exhibition is European Baskets featuring work by almost 80 of Europe’s leading basket-makers in materials ranging from wire to willow and includes both contemporary, sculptural work and traditional techniques. The curators of this travelling exhibition are Joe Hogan (Ireland) and Mary Butcher (UK).

Joe Hogan is the best known contemporary basket maker in Ireland and has written the best book on the subject, Basketmaking in Ireland, published by Wordwell in 2001. I was always interested in basket making, having worked with creels made of willow on the bog in my youth. When I spent summer holidays with my grandfather I "helped" him make baskets from willow.
More recently I attended basket making classes determined that I would make a creel to keep up the family tradition. Thanks to basket maker and teacher Kathleen McCormick I succeeded. Technically it's a pardóg rather than a creel.

Oh and did I tell you I wrote a poem about my grandfather, helping him with baskets and making my own. It was the first poem I had published, in Crannog 10.

1 comment:

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Dear Michael, in North Italy, in Friuli, in Polcenigo, my old mother's native village, on the first Sunday of September there's a fair of baskets, baskets of every sort, some also similar to the one in your photo...
It's a huge fair, all the streets around are occupied with stalls, also with marvellous very local food....