The 16 years of gathering knowledge and gaining experience from traditional masters of basketry led us to creating an original model of teaching crafts, which is based not only on skills transfer but also on the opportunity of innovative work with natural materials. Our ethnographic expedition in 2009, “On the Basketry Trail of the Vistula River”, which resulted in the publication of a book titled Baskets, revealed a wide range of craft-based opportunities in Poland. Also as a result of this expedition, we chose our areas of specialisation, focusing on straw, cattail, and willow. We learned the properties of those natural materials to be able to use them also in ways which veer away from traditional basketry. To promote basketmaking skills, we teach them at all levels: from elementary to advanced.

Serfenta’s activities cover workshops and expert events; talks about the meeting point between cultural anthropology, craft, and market.

Our trainees are both beginners and specialists who need such skills in their professional development. The participants in our workshops come from Poland as well as other countries. What we find particularly important is that we not only present strictly technical skills but we also draw attention to the psychological aspects of craft experience. We emphasise the value of crafts which comes from the repetition of movements and the relaxation which is achieved through focusing on a single activity and being offline. We combine traditional Polish craft techniques with our knowledge and experience related to basketry materials and techniques from across the globe.

Serfenta is one of the three UNESCO-accredited NGOs in Poland. Our international journey has continued for 16 years now. It has been largely influenced by our cooperation with Norway and the process of building our model of working with crafts. In 2015, we organised “The Social Face of Basketry” conference: we invited representatives from various parts of the world, including Zimbabwe, India, and Indonesia. In 2017, we included the skill of making the unique kabłącok baskets from the village of Lucimia on the Polish List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. We have also been awarded by the Polish National Commission for UNESCO for our educational activities supporting the implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

In 2009 we set on a journey in search of Polish basket makers. We travelled across thousands of kilometres, starting from the area by the Vistula river and continuing to other regions of Poland: Podlasie, Kaszuby, Wielkopolska, Podkarpacie. In 2011 we began to cross the borders – we found basket makers in the Ukraine, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, and Iceland.

We’ve discovered that basketry is still alive! Craftspeople use various materials to weave, such as willow, straw, bulrush (cattail), pine and spruce roots, tree bark, oak, hazelnut, calamus, and many others. Read more about Polsh basketry in our book!

We met over 100 basket makers who shared their knowledge and experience with us, their new apprentices. We spent hours talking with them and learning from them. The expeditions resulted in the book entitled On the basketry trail of the Vistula river, how-to videos, and exhibitions. In our shop, you can buy unique objects made by Polish basket makers.

If you want us to visit your region, your family, your basket making neighbour – contact us!


Paulina Adamska, +48 507 933 191, paulina.adamska@serfenta.pl



Craft Tour Roots of Poland

We will take you into the heart of Polish nature and craft.

Audiovisual Archive

Check our archive - movies and pictures of genuine craft

Basketry workshops

We run basketry workshops for organised groups. Order at your place or visit us!

Shop – baskets from Poland

You’ll find beautiful woven objects here – come in and see!