As fiber artists, we talk a lot about our materials, but we don’t talk a lot about what it takes to get those materials, namely the elephant grass. It’s not as simple as ordering or buying grass in bulk. Call us crazy, but every material we use we harvest and/or recycle as a company.
Elephant grass grows near bodies of water. To weave, it has to be collected and dried. It sounds simple, but it’s a complex process. The grass starts lush and green. It’s cut, washed and dried three times. Each time the grass is washed and dried, it shrinks a little more until it’s a long, thin needle shape perfect for weaving.
Creating the baskets is really a grassroots, community activity. Typically, men harvest and wash the grass. Once it’s ready, the grass is moved to the village where we, the women, begin creating these amazing vessels for us to enjoy. Every step along the way to creating our baskets is an art form, and each step is vital for the next. Everything has to happen in this synchronized dance…
By staying small and keeping our processes close, we can connect communities to something meaningful that will re-feed the community while connecting cultures across the globe, and also supporting our mission to build a STEM school for girls in Senegal. We purposefully stay small to stay authentic, and we’re proud of staying true to our roots.