Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Rencontres Autour du Saule, Bouxurulles

An appropriate name for this sociable little basket festival, the sixth edition of which was held in the tiny rural village of Bouxurulles in the Vosges last week.

Valerie Testu one of the principal organisers and a professional basket maker herself,  invited myself  and others from Germany, Alexandra Marks, Belgium, Liev Lieckens,  UK, Adrian Charlton, Spain, Carlos Fontales and, of course, France, Francois Deplanches, Regis Colin, Stephane Deleau, Florence Canavacciuolo, and Florian Gascht to teach workshops.

Work by Alexandra Marks
I hadn't seen Alexandra, Adrian, Carlos or Francois for a while and so it was a pleasure to have a chance to be with them and to meet others. Some makers were there to  take part in the basket market held at the weekend and Klaus Seyfang turned up, to the delight of everyone who knows him, just to be sociable.

Work by Valerie Testu
There were  18 classes run over a 3 day period and my contribution was a 2 day one for coiling and looping with recycled and found materials and  1 day on hexagonal plaiting. Many of the students were regulars to the event, people who really enjoy making baskets as a leisure activity.

The village residents host the tutors and organise meals and entertainments for everyone concerned , the sun shone and nearly 600 litres of local beer were consumed over the 5 days. Personally I enjoyed it very much and wish to thank all the villagers concerned but particularly Valerie, Jeannot and Zabeth for their incredible hard work and kind hospitality. I have happily accepted an invitation to return next year.