I met this gentleman in Volax, Tinos island (Cyclades, Greece), one of the most beautiful villages of the Aegean. Volax is very “famous”, not only because it’s a picturesque, sweet little village with traditional Cycladian architecture, but mostly because around the village you can see a unique and spectacular geological phenomenon. The village is surrounded by a huge area, covered with strange round rocks of any size, trully a breathtaking thing to see (we ’ll talk about that in some of my next posts).
Besides that, in the village you can find the 2 last traditional basketmakers, Mr. Iakovos (or Giakoumis) Sigalas (the one in the photo)and Mr. Alekos Fyrigos (you’ ll probably see a photo of him too in the near future). Unfortunately when these 2 men die, their labour will dissapear too!
Making a traditional basket is not as easy as it seems. First you have to collect the sticks for the frame, which must be from willow and withe trees. The collection must be done from mid July to mid September. Then you have to leave the sticks on the sun to dry and then put them into water. This way, they will be lasting and strechy. Then you ’ll have to wait until January to collect the cane. The last stage of the work is to “weave” them all together.
Mr. Sigalas is 60 years old and he keeps doing this job for more than 45 years.