Two ladies and a whole lotta wool
Now that I’m based in Luxembourg I’m lucky enough to be able to visit lots of great places easily on the weekend. So a couple of months ago it was the beautiful city of Strasbourg in Alsace, France.
In Alsace they’ve done a great job of preserving their traditional crafting techniques (I’d been working on the June assignment for The Weaving Kind on tracing your heritage through weaving and boy do I wish I could say the same for Suffolk!)
There are plenty of places to pick up some local handicrafts so I must admit I went a little shop crazy. First and foremost was of course the textiles! The traditional fabric of Alsace is called kelsch and is traditionally woven with linen and cotton. It’s then dyed naturally with woad and cochineal (I’m currently obsessed with woad so this pleased me immensely).
Pottery is also a big thing in Alsace and we saw lots of gorgeous examples all round Strasbourg. I couldn’t resist picking up a Baeckoffe (and you might also notice some lemon verbena in the background that I grabbed whilst I was there too!)
Alsace is also famous for its sweets and biscuits (spiced bread) I couldn’t resist these cute biscuit cutters, especially not one shaped like a stork!
Storks can be found all over the region and people even build special baskets on their roofs for them to nest in. As a result the image of the stork is everywhere.
I also couldn’t resist these cute postcards by Alsacian artist Jean-Jacques Waltz (aka Oncle Hansi):
I really love exploring a new place through the crafts that hail from there, perhaps because in the UK (well in England at least) we haven’t done an amazing job of preserving them. Whilst it’s great to let art and craft progress and evolve, I think it’s also great to remember where it began and to try to maintain these traditional skills.