We met Kármen in Felsőörs at a workshop in the summer. The secret of its special, unique products lies in the fact that it uses several types of raw (shelled) canes and not only uses traditional Hungarian techniques, but also draws from the traditions of other European countries.
Uses self-grown, dried and re-soaked canes. Soaking takes 10-20 days, depending on the type. The commas are different in color depending on their type, but they are also different in texture. Some are waxy, the other is roughly gummy and purple-black, and the third is as green as old wine bottles.
Karmen told us about the types of canes he uses and how they can be used:
“When I first went to Denmark - Anne Mette Hvidaa’s workshop in Hjornholm - we worked with a lot of commas. Beautiful bundles of color awaited. Of course, we wanted to choose what we wanted for a given basket based on colors, but since the commas not only differ in color, but also in bendability, strength, and thickness, we chose a color that Anne Mette said was appropriate for the job. He grows nearly 20 kinds of canes on his own plantation, which is on the lands next to their house.
I bought cuttings from him and have been propagating them year after year. I also ordered five of them from France before, but unfortunately only two of them remained. What is impressive about these foreign varieties is that, unlike home-grown salix americana (American willow), they are much more uniform in thickness. There are almost only American willows on the willows in Hungary, this was grown when the baskets were made in cooperatives.
By the way, we know about 400 types of booklets, and they cross very easily. One is suitable for weaving the side of the basket, another for weaving the side, but the technique can also determine which variety is worth using. The advantage of cultivation is that the varieties with the best traits are propagated.
But it's also worth collecting. French basket weaver Francois Desplanches described the beauty of this long and uncertain process. Planting a cane found in the wild that looks good brings a few canes in the first year, a dozen in two years, and maybe a hundred in three years. He will give you a basket in a few years. They are harvested, dried and soaked back. That’s when it turns out if it’s really good to use. Anne Mette, by the way, has a variety she named from the place where she collected it.
I also like to work with several varieties and different colors, because even a simple shape can be very showy, and sometimes the different color usage highlights the shape. Otherwise, the color of the commas will change over the course of their lives. It’s different in color when you’re on your feet, different when it’s dry, and again different when you get back. The bark of the cane is also a nice spinning material. There is a variety that has a beautiful yellow inside, which allows us to achieve a nice contrast when we use the two sides alternately. ”
Damage bowls are now available from us, showing the variety and play of different canes. However, the supply will expand further.