I am the founder of the Serfenta Association in Poland and I have run it from almost 15 years...
After 15 years, since the first project in the Serfenta, I see my role as an expert who uses knowledge, experience and the skills gained through our numerous activities. Very important in my work is to exchange the experiences with partners from all over the world. I eagerly reach for the practical skills by conducting workshops or carrying out basketmaking orders.
However, I mostly present our work on a foreign forum, where I show the case of Serfenta as a conscious and responsible organization skillfully combining craftsmanship and business. I find sales as a valuable space and opportunity for resonance and connection with other people. I love when people from all over the world get in touch with Serfenta. They want to learn from us, try weaving, or buy a beautiful products. I find it exciting and stimulating for further work.
Thanks to them (and to you!), we are known not only in Europe, but also in Canada, the USA, Japan, South Korea, Africa and India. When we recently counted how many people took part in juzt in our workshops, we got 2,500! So many people have tried weaving thanks to us! I am attracted to the fact that a small, female organization has such a range and our case is taken into account on an international level. The Serfenta is the only European organization dealing in such a wide range of basketry, combining the world of traditional craftsmanship with business.
The craft experience is very important to me. I have always been attracted by its variety and its possibilities. When I was starting my journey with the craft I wanted to touch everything myself and try it. First, I did theoretical anthropology studies, then practical teaching at the University of Arts and Crafts, and finally Serfenta's research when we traveled thousands of kilometers to the most unique workshops of the basketmakers. They tought me how to work with the traditional weaving materials and tools. They use basketry techniques passed only through the oral route, from generation to generation. The Serfenta took this significant role and now, we share all this knowledge widly. The book "Baskets - stories from a basketry trail of Vistula river", which I wrote with my friends, is about this experience. We cooperate exactly with the same masters in Serfenta until today!
However, I have been always more interested in travelling and the possibility of exchanging ideas and experiences with the crafts researchers and in learning from the basketmakers from all over the world than in spending whole days in the workshop weaving.
Thanks to Serfenta's contacts in Scandinavia or Asia, I got the opportunity to see our work and role in a wider context. Today I know that the craftsmanship it is beautiful and valuable as an intangible cultural heritage, but also it is interesting, enjoyable and accessible craft experience for all. In Serfenta, we share what is especially valuable to us - slowlife, relax and contact with nature. It is also an important experience that, thanks to us, it's possible to try. Join the world of Serfenta!