by Kostantia Manthou
SOUPLE Basket weaving and the concept of a basket as a storage space has its roots in many cultures thus making it a global object with diverse origins. Basketry is made from a variety of ﬁbrous or pliable materials, anything that will bend and form a shape [...] SOUPLE is a series of elastic baskets made with zero prior basketry knowledge. The materials used at the initial phase of the project, were found in supermarkets, on Chinese store shelves and on the front of magazines as gifts. Starting from Youtube video tutorials, I began weaving tiny baskets, using materials commonly used in knitting or cooking. While searching for new types of materials, I stumbled upon some fabric yarns on Etsy, made by a Danish girl who uses old cotton T-shirts and turns them into rolls of yarn. The idea of using materials sourced online for my online tutorial lessons suddenly made sense. As I kept on researching, I came across some old knitted projects made with huge knitting needles. I found something similar for my ‘recently-acquired-capacity-to-knit ’ at the awesome Lanar Shop (a company that produces yarns and organizes knitting courses) along with some ﬁne Italian made wool yarns, to add a vein of reﬁned luxury to the project. The rest was a matter of repetitious experimenting with my constantly-updated-internet-knowledge in order for my weaving-knitting endeavor to evolve. What fascinated me was the fact that when I used the knitting techniques I achieved an elasticity that the traditional weaving techniques and materials didn't oﬀer me. The idea of the elastic space always interested me and the texture of the ﬂat boring feeling of lycra or other elastic fabrics cannot be compared with the ever-changing texture of the knitted yarn. At least not til now!
photos ÂŠ Alessandro Calabrese
Kostantia Manthou, born in Thessaloniki, Greece, is an architect, a designer but mainly a craftsman. She is working among several disciplines exploring the new ways and meanings of handicraft. She has worked under the guidance of the Campana brothers for some years; Since 2008 she has been working as a freelance designer and consultant, dealing mainly with product design and interior design. She has participated in various art and design fairs and exhibitions including Venice Biennial, Nuit Blanche, Salone Del Mobile, Athens Biennial, ReMap, etc. Since 2010 is an assistant lecturer at Scuola Politecnica di Design. She currently lives and works in Milan carrying several obsessions regarding methods and materials. +39 340 3587146 | email@example.com | www.kostantiamanthou.com