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BA Spring School 2023: Mediterranean ‘Nansa’ Fishtrap Technique

By Monica Guilera
Harrogate Ladies' College, Clarence Drive, Harrogate, UK

The Mediterranean is home to a beautiful and distinctive technique of weaving used by fishermen to make a variety of fishing baskets and traps. In Catalonia ‘Nansa’ fish traps were made in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the kind of fish they wanted to catch.  The traps were usually made in the winter with a very tough kind of rush (Juncus acutus) as well as split cane (Arundo donax) and olive stems.

In this workshop you will learn to make a ‘cofe’, a round basket that was used to place the fishing lines and hooks in preparation for line fishing. This basket will give you a good grounding in this very special technique based on triangles combining willow with a variety of colourful threadsWe will also make an oval piece: a fisherman’s basket with a handle. 

Suitability: Beginners and experienced makers

Cost or materials: £10 for reel of thread; approx £15-£20 for willow