Woven Communities is a Scottish collaborative research project funded by the AHRC, which explores the relationship between basketry skills and heritage, memory, learning and recovery. It is a collaboration between anthropologist Dr Stephanie Bunn, from the University of St Andrews, Scottish basket-makers and regional museums, archives, schools, care-centres and hospitals across Scotland.
The project began by exploring how the past can look through focusing on traditional basketry as a fabric of society. In the process, we uncovered how hand skills, learning and memory are intertwined in multiple ways. These range from sources for reminiscence, to the power of skill to engender pleasure and intergenerational communication; from the role of hand memories for people with dementia, to the importance of hand-skills for stroke recovery; and to the significance of basketry’s weaving and plaiting movements for design thinking and geometrical and spatial understanding.