Friday, November 17, 2006

Traditional Aboriginal Coiling

I joined a group that was being taught traditional coiling techniques to make baskets, mats and bowls. The tutor was taught these methods by Aborininal Elders. We used the New Zealand flax plant which is very strong. The method was fairly simple, the leaves are split into strips with the point of a tapestry needle. One of the strips is threaded and sewn around a group of five or six leaf strips which are twisted and coiled.
This in my effort after a few rounds. More strips are added when needed and you just keep going to the size wanted. To make a basket or bowl the next round is made on top rather than next to the last round.
This is 'Henry' who was so inquisitive. His cage is open during the day and he can hop in and out as he pleases. He did hop on to my shoulder while I was sewing my coils. It was a very hot and humid day and after lunch he went back into his cage for a snooze.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure your coiling class was interesting, but probably hard on the hands?
I love Henry's colours. All your nature photos thrill me and your series of work on plants is lovely.

pam annesley said...

Yes Mags, the coiling is a bit hard on the hands, if you make a loose structure then I think it wouldn't be so hard. I tend to pull my cords 'tight'. Henry was so friendly and it amzed me that he didnt both to join his fellow Galahs in the surrounding trees.
Glad you like my textile plant studies.
Pam