John Cowan's traditional baskets are handmade by John using environmentally-friendly Scottish and English-grown willow. John reproduces old basket designs that were once commonplace in agriculture and the fishing industry, but now can be used domestically as sturdy log baskets or attractive storage baskets. Besides making traditional basket designs, John welcomes commissions of made-to-measure pieces.
Zulu Ilala Palm Basket. To create this traditional basket, weavers use strips of naturally waxy palm fronds wrapped around coils of wild grasses. Some baskets are still used for liquid storage in the rural areas of South Africa. Watertight baskets are readied by rubbing wet cornmeal inside. When liquid is added, the coils swell.