Coming Undone, Flora Friedmann
In 2004 I stumbled upon basket weaving workshops by Virginia Kaiser at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. After my first workshop I was hooked and basketry is now part of who I am.
I work mostly with plant fibres, which I harvest myself (or gratefully accept from friends). My favourite weaving plant is Coral Pea Vine (an Australian native) but I also use such things as bangalow and date palm inflorescence, palm leaf sheaths, wisteria, dodder, red hot poker and dietes leaves. In the last year or so I have introduced decorative wire inserts to some of my pieces.
Recently I have concentrated on cane work and teaching myself new methods such as wrapping cane and sewing it with linen thread.
I mostly weave by twining and waling, using traditional stake and strand basketry but aim for non-traditional shapes which require quite a bit of problem solving at times. I find I am really interested in the architecture – the structural shape of the pieces. Many of my sculptures are also randomly woven.
Great excitement for me in 2012 was moving from weaving over the laundry sink and a small bench to spreading out and making a wonderful mess in my own studio with a specially raised bath and a large work table.
Once my work is completed I get great pleasure in naming it. I have been told that my baskets’ names are like “poetry in basketry”. I would like to think the baskets’ names truly tell their story and bring an extra dimension to my work.
I share my love of basketry by teaching it via workshops and have shown and sold my work in several exhibitions. I am a founding member of Basketry NSW Inc. and have been a committee member of that group since its inception.
I strive to make beautiful, interesting shapes and as I learn more techniques I feel I’m creeping closer to mastering the crafting of wonderful baskets.