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Shetland Museum Straw Crafts Update

Published: 12 December 2022

Fair Isle chairmaker, Eve Eunson is leading the sessions together with museum curator Ian Tait and Deepa Shah from Hymhus, the basket making group in Bigton.

There are around seven participants in each of the three groups and all are making baskets but in different shapes and forms.

Close up of the coiled stitched straw
basket base


It’s been a lengthy (and messy!) process but now the groups are moving beyond the tricky stages of the project and getting into the rhythm and flow of making the baskets. The kishie baskets are well underway, and next week the group will be starting to finish up their work. Handles will soon be added to the coiled stitched straw baskets and the knotted straw group are continuing with their baskets from a square wooden base.

Birds eye view of the three different
basketry groups


It’s been a fun, sociable series of evenings and by the very nature of them being collaborative sessions it’s meant that people have been able to ask plenty of questions and bounce ideas off one another.

Twisting the straw into simmens for
kishie making


Eve emphasised: “There are very few straw crafts’ experts out there so it’s vital that these skills and knowledge are passed on so that more people can learn and keep the techniques going. I’m delighted that there has been such a positive response to the classes, and we hope to do more in the future.”

Curator Ian Tait explains how to sort the
straw for kishie making


We’ll share photos of the finished baskets in the next couple of weeks.

Photos by Jordan Clark