Bringing the old baskets to the people

Baskets of the Hebrides talk. Bernera cafe.

Baskets of the Hebrides talk. Bernera cafe.

As part of the Scottish Basketmakers Circle 25th anniversary celebrations, basketmakers all around Scotland held events for ‘Encircle Scotland’ day on 22 June 2013. My contribution to this day was to give a talk on the baskets of the Hebrides and demonstrate making a small frame basket at my local community cafe in Great Bernera, Outer Hebrides. I was able to talk about this Woven Communities project and how my own knowledge has been expanded by working with it.

Kathanna Latimer of Bernera Historical Society, which has a small musuem in the same building, brought a ciosan into the cafe from the museum. Many of my audience were part of the Bernera soup and sandwich club that raise money for the senior citizens days out. It was great to have so many local women at the talk. It was a wonderful moment when these women got to see the ciosan. They crowded around it with excited voices. Even though they all use the community centre on a very regular basis, hardly any of them had seen this basket in the museum. Although none of them actually remembered the ciosans in use here they were very interested in the history of it and I was proud to be part of bringing some of their heritage back to them.

Dawn Susan

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