Christine holding the baskets she made
We met Christine, a member of a weaving cooperative in rural South Eastern Kenya during our trip to Kenya, in the Summer of 2015. Amazed at her skills, we instantly fell in love with these two baskets and bought them (and many others!) from the group. Each basket goes through a detailed process, from stripping, rolling & dyeing the sisal before being finally woven! Every stage requiring a creative eye & precision.
Christine was also interested in our business, and we talked in English (as our Swahili is very basic and her English was very fluent!) as we walked to the local school to use the toilets! We explained what we do with the baskets once they leave the village & what people in the UK use them for. Photographs of us selling them at fairs were passed around the group, smiles, laughter and puzzlement were had, cheers made & arms waved!
The baskets hear many stories, those told between Mother tongues. As each thread is woven, words, feelings, tears & laughter are interlocked between the strands.
From the village they travel onwards to Mombassa and finally the UK, where in the studio each one is uniquely photographed, unstacked & re-stacked, numbered & admired. Some will be handpicked at fairs, others chosen in deliberation & excitement from the website. As they enter their new homes, each carries their story with them, their journey from dusty villages where voices fill the air, to new towns, cities & country homes.
Christine's baskets on the website
A couple of months after returning from Kenya, Christine's two baskets were added to our website, and one (KITABU, on the left) was featured in an article about wooden cabins in The Telegraph Newspaper! They have now both arrived at their final destinations, one at a farm in Gloucester and the other in London.
It really is a journey of crossing continents, of connecting lives, people & cultures as the baskets make their way from one home to another.