The weaver who became a basket maker
Maria Isabel Soares was born in 1948 in the current parish of Luzim and Vila Cova, where she still lives and works. Born into a basket makers family, she turned the weaving into her craft until she was thirty-eight years old, when she was challenged to participate as a basket maker at Agrival – Agricultural fair of Vale do Sousa. In just three days, armed with pruning shears, she learned with her grandmother and an aunt how to tame the wicker and willow, raw materials that she collects, treats and uses «with full rod» until today.
She states that «basketry is not profitable» and, therefore, she is also compromise to farming, but having a place available to exhibit and sell her wicker baskets, she feels with energy to «stand up to orders».