Native & Co share with us their beautiful range of copper detailed, rush woven baskets, recently designed for and showcased at London Craft Week 2016. Even before knowing the wonderful story behind the range of baskets, they caught our eye, as if their journey from plant to basket was illuminated through their delicate form. We spoke to Chris Yoshiro Green, Founder and Creative Director of Native & Co, to find out more about the art of Taiwanese rush weaving…
Native & Co designs and curates homeware from Japan and Taiwan. Specialising in traditional crafts and contemporary designed tableware. They work closely with specialist makers and traditional craftsmen, seeking out pieces that are simple and pure, staying true to the native origin.
With 300 years of history, rush weaving is one of Taiwan’s oldest and most traditional crafts. Lin wild rush grass, is native to the paddy elds of Yuanli in western Taiwan. First used by the Pingpu tribe to weave everyday objects, rush weaving evolved over centuries. At its peak the craft thrived under Imperial Japan, becoming one of Taiwan’s main exported goods. Rush weaving cannot be reproduced by machine and requires immense skill and patience.
Designer Chia-En Lu showcases a series of hand- woven rush-weaved baskets, made in collaboration with the Taiwan Yuan-Li Handiwork Association. Each piece is handmade by master weaver Xue-Yun. Originally from Taiwan, Chia-En’s body of work merges a contemporary and minimal design with traditional rush weaving. She values design as a means to create awareness for traditional crafts and support the craftsmen behind them.