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Home Traditional artistic handicraft Wood, Straw and Cane Manufacturing Reggio Emilia. The working of wicker and rivergrass

Reggio Emilia. The working of wicker and rivergrass

Province of Reggio Emilia

This type of handicraft, that characterised the area of Canossa until some decades ago, has very ancient origins dating back to the 18th century.

The working technique was handed down in the poor families of this area, whose livelihood depended on this humble activity.

The manufacturing of baskets, in different shapes and dimensions, depends on the skills and the work of the local basket makers who were able to make products with different shapes and with a high level of perfection thanks to the diversification of the weaving.

The twigs of “salix viminalis”, commonly called wicker, were collected in the thick tree stumps along the rivers Enza and Secchia by the basket makers in June and July, when they were ripe enough, then their soft bark was cleaned, so that they could be used.

The twigs, woven together, were transformed into the traditional baskets of different shapes and dimensions. These baskets are called in three different ways in the local dialect "cèsti", "cavègni" e "paneri" – but there were also more refined and complex objects, according to the skills of the basket makers.

Still today in Canossa it is possible to appreciate the works of skilled chair-menders like chairs, baskets and hampers. Courses on weaving and chair-mending to learn the technique are organised every year in this area.

 

Locality:

Canossa

Last modified Mar 31, 2011

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