‘Braiding is watching with your fingers’, says Esmé Hofman one of the few professional basket weavers in Europe practicing the very fine type of basketry called willow skeinwork.
The material for this work is obtained by cleaving a long willow rod in three or four with a special wooden cleave. The long strips of willow are shaved by hand on a special shaving bench. With this type of work it is very important to work precise. The skeins can be as small as one 10th of a millimetre. After shaving the last remains of the bark are cleaned away.

Every skeinwork object is worked around it’s own wooden mould. Skeinwork is very time consuming. Making a dish for instance can take up to 40 hours or more. The result is a very fragile looking piece which when touched is surprisingly strong.