Bread from the basket (photo)
The village of Iza is jokingly referred to as "Thirteen-A" - because of the sign at the entrance. And this sign also contains a trademark Iza busket. This village is the only one in Ukraine, specializing in wicker work. No one remembers who was the first to pick up the wicker and make a basket. But now every resident of Iza, regardless of profession, knows how to do it.
From souvenir trinkets to furniture sets - all is made of wicker. And now it is probably the most important time of the year in Iza: all the country must be provided with trademark Iza Easter baskets. Actually, they are sold not only in Ukraine, but also abroad ...
Everyone in Iza - old and young - is engaged in basket weaving.
In Iza they can weave everything - from bread busket to furniture. But it is basket which is a trademark of Iza. Especially before Easter. In Iza they even invented a belief - every Easter should be celebrated with the new basket ... Actually, there are thousands of them here: stockpiled in garages and trailers that serve for shops, hanging on fences ...
To every taste! Each year there is new fashion for Easter baskets in Iza: new shape, complexity of weaving, artisans combine different types of wicker, and more recently they started to not only paint the baskets in bright colors, but also whimsically decorate them. For example, with ribbons. Such decorated baskets now are in great demand.
Since it is the hot season, the cheapest basket costs 50 UAH.
... But the one made by Tetyana Polyanska is three times more expensive. This "model" was developed in Iza a few years ago and it is considered the standard of an Easter basket. The artisan says, the basket has a strong bottom and two joint handles to make it easier to carry a basket decorated with a cloth to church. Edges of the product are artfully decorated, in a word, craftsmen are proud of this trademark basket.
The actual weaving is preceded by a complex and dirty work - preparation of wicker. They specially plant it here. And then, wicker must be peeled, boiled and dyed. It is a hard work, but does it pay?
Vasyl Chukhray without detracting from the work, says: the season in Iza actually lasts all year round. "In spring and autumn we harvest wicker, then we make furniture, baskets of it.It takes a lot of work, and the price is the same as it was 5 years ago - it is not prime necessity ... People buy a basket and keep it for 10 years. But we are not going to change the job."
23-year-old Nataliya is working next to Mr. Vasyl. She is not from Iza, she came here with husband, and in a few months she learned the craft abandoning the degree in economics. However she prefers to make furniture, as it is more interesting. After all, light but (as artisans guarantee!) strong local furniture is the most expensive product: a chair costs at least 300 UAH, and craftsmen are constantly trying new modifications. Even borrow ideas from European catalogs ...
Of course, the most important thing about Iza baskets is manual work, which can not be substituted. Mrs. Anna has been weaving for 60 years after making her first basket when she was 15 ...
"Who taught me? We taught ourselves, life taught us.Do young people want to do this? Young people look for other jobs, those who received education do not want to weave, they want to live the village," - Anna Izay says.
But, although not all young people want to work with wicker, Mrs. Anna is sure this craft will not be forgotten in Iza. For a simple and very good reason: in the village there is no other work. Wicker work is the main source of income in the village. So in Iza they truly eat their bread from basket - the world's best Easter basket ...
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