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  • Mary Preece

Cabbage Tree Palm and COVID19 ISO


COVID ISO time. May 2020. A renewal.

Whilst working from home becomes the norm, I take some time to renew my basketry practice.

I have been working with Cabbage Tree Palm, Livistonia australis, collected from a friends property. Aware that it is a precious resource, I have focussed on experimenting with different methods of preparing the fibre.

Discoveries are:

- it resists dyeing, as it has a waxy coating on the outside of the leaf

- it makes a beautiful strong string and is great for braiding

- it is possible to boil it- this will make the fibres shrink slightly and the colour turns light brown

- it is very able to be wet and dried several times

My mentor Jim Walliss -RIP- had researched colonisation era uses of the fibre. The most well known use was for the Cabbage Tree Hat.

I created a coiled basket using Cabbage Tree Palm (green) fibre, Cocos Palm spathe made into string and Cocos Palm inflorescence. Its a simple open basket form, highlighting the colour and texture of the fibres.

#COVID19 #isoart #artinisolation #artmatters #basketry

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