Zumitz Collection clearly flies the flag of transmission of cultural heritage

Published on February 22, 2017

A woven chestnut wood basket was the starting point for the Alki‘s Zumitz Collection. This range of objects for both the home and hospitality industry has been developed from a rural tool firmly rooted in the world of work.

Iratzoki & Lizaso wanted to find new scope for ancestral expertise.

Young branchless chestnut trees are cut in February during the waning moon and then immerged in water for one year. Fished out when required for use, they are then dried in a furnace and hand cut into strips before being woven onto the metal frame. The woven ensemble is then dried naturally in open air.

Still craft-made by the expert hands of artisans in the foothills of the Pyrenees, this time-honoured tool from the Basque Country is, even today, used by smallholders, fishermen and bakers.

And because values of authenticity and proximity are dear to Alki’s heart, the designers wanted to integrate such unique expertise in this new collection.

A uniquely companionable collection of objects for the home and hospitality industry has been developed from this rural tool that encapsulates the world of work. Designed by Iratzoki & Lizaso and made, in part, by local basket craftsmen, the Zumitz Collection clearly flies the flag of transmission of cultural heritage.

New use has been given to this technique of weaving chestnut wood strips (known as ‘zumitzak’ in the Basque language) by assembling them on a tubular metal structure. Thanks to this application, yesterday’s tool has made room for today’s practical object.

Zumitz comprises a range of objects including a coffee table, screen and log basket. The whole Collection exudes a simple ruggedness that fits perfectly into contemporary settings. In acknowledgement of its territorial roots, the genetic makeup of this Collection salutes the memory of ancestral expertise.

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