Weaving describes a process during which materials are connected in a way so they form a structure that is stable in itself. The permanent moving and burdening of fingers requires both strength and sensitivity at once. Without machines, the material is shaped to unique items like wicker furniture, which often finds its place in living spaces. Baskets are also made for decoration and woven sculptures are exhibited in galleries all over the world. Expectations of functionality and decoration blend more and more. Therefore, a weaver is craftsman, designer, artist and partner of architects at the same time.
Weaving is one of the oldest craftsmanship of human kind and is spread across the globe. For instance, in the arid regions of the Near East, baskets dating back to 12000 years ago have been found. Over generations, various weaving techniques have been passed on, developed and improved.
Weavers use a variety of working material stretching from willow to recycled material. In regional plantations, weavable willows are planted, harvested, sorted, and prepared for further processing. Watering makes them bendable and ready to be woven.
The craftsmanship of weaving is kept alive by a vocational school in Lichtenfels (Bavaria) among others. During a three-year vocational training, young weavers gain knowledge about material, processing, techniques and design in a traditional as well as future-oriented sense. Inclusive projects allow for including people with disabilities. The rhythmical movement of weaving fosters manual skills of children. Therefore, weaving is also applied in therapeutic contexts.
Exhibitions, meetings and workshops serve as a platform for international knowledge transfer and cooperation. Foremen, journeymen, apprentices and people enthusiastic about weaving form a global network.