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Pieni punottu suorakaiteen muotoinen kaislakori. Kuva: Hilja Mustonen. Image Hilja Mustonen

Basket weaving is one of the oldest craft techniques. It has evolved from the need to store, transport and carry goods and materials. The art and techniques of basket weaving are very similar worldwide, they have just always been adapted to local materials and needs.

Nature’s own masters were probably the first to do it: the branches of many vines intertwine as they grow, the spider weaves an incredibly skilful web, and birds weave their nests with their beaks. It is difficult to pinpoint when humans learned the art of basket weaving. Not much remains of baskets woven from decaying natural materials after millennia. The oldest archaeological finds date back to Egypt around 
12 000 years ago.

The important properties of wicker materials are durability, malleability and flexibility, as well as strength even when dry. Plants of various kinds are still the main materials used by craftsmen for basket weaving, although industrialisation has also led to the use of synthetic materials.

Both the materials and the techniques of basket weaving have remained relatively unchanged over the centuries. For each material, craftsmen have found the right techniques to weave the shape of the basket. Today in Finland, the masterly art of basket weaving is partly disappearing. The passing on and teaching of basket weaving skills from one generation to the next is an important intangible cultural heritage of craftsmanship, which must be cherished and thus ensured.

Basket weaving is the craft technique of 2024, as designated by the Taito Organization. The exhibition is an overview of the different techniques and materials used in basket weaving and the different forms of baskets. The exhibition showcases traditional mastery of basketry and modern applications of baskets. Weavers and cooperating organisations from Finland, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Ghana have been invited to participate.

The exhibition has been assembled by the Taito Organization and produced in cooperation with the Craft Museum of Finland. 


Woven Baskets from Near and Far

Exhibition at the Craft Museum of Finland 9.3.–2.6.2024. 
Free entry to the street level exhibition. 

Craft Museum of Finland
Kauppakatu 25, Jyväskylä
Open Tue-Sun 11-18.

More information

Mikko Oikari, senior curator, Craft Museum of Finland, tel.  050 553 3880, [email protected]