Today, Saint-Viance has revived wicker-farming thanks to Serge Mazaud’s business…
Serge Mazaud interview :
« Wicker is a fabulous plant because it takes a cutting quite easily, even when the willows we use are extremely long. So, when you have a few basic weaving skills, you can end up with huge structures which grow and continue to live on, in your garden. Just to give you an idea: last year, I harvested wicker that measured over 4 metres long. This gives me enough freedom to plan ahead and consider large live wicker structures.
To obtain top quality wicker, the plant has to grow continuously, without ever stopping. That means no ramifications. The stalks must be as long and as thin as possible. And the bark must not be injured. Which means that when I am out here mowing, I have to pay attention not to damage the sprigs. The most annoying plants around here are t morning glories. They have a tendency to leave marks on the sprigs…
I have about 30 different varieties to produce from, plus a collection you can see right behind me, with 67 types of wicker and botanical willow I’ll use for plant architecture. I make cabins and fences for different types of climate and soils.
Allassac, Saint-Viance, Voutezac
- 14. Saint-Viance bridge
- 15. Wicker
Wicker-farming and basket-making prospered greatly in the area in 19th century up until World War 2. The activity owes its revival to Serge Mazaud, whom you will discover in this video interview