The strict rules and discipline which was exercised in the Colonies of Benevolence did not suit everyone. Small groups of people escaped and moved to the wasteland surrounding the colonies. Since the winters were cold and peat digging wasn’t very profitable, they found other ways to earn a living one of which was the weaving and selling of willow baskets. This craft grew to become a big industry in Noordwolde, producing wicker furniture for a big part of Europe. Fascinated by this story, Jelle up-cycled an old rotan chair by combining new elements of color, shape and techniques, enhancing the traditional craft of basketry. With his material research he shows the history and value of the old craft and how it kept reinventing itself through history, while showing new possibilities to use what is already there.
The old basketry craft is slowly dying. The Retwine chair is an ode to the history of the craft and an outcome of experimentation with new techniques and materials.