Halil Baručija from the village Skradno near Busovača has been manufacturing birch brooms, panniers, baskets for woods, and even wrapping wine bottles and bottles for other beverages, for more than a half decade now. Wicker products bring him additional income, since it is difficult to live on low pension.
“I have been doing this since I was twelve. I learned the craft from my father. This is not a great art, but people are increasingly looking my products. All products I make are usable. Birch brooms are used for sweeping yards and panniers are used for carrying hay, fruit or other agricultural products. Baskets for wood are especially demanded during winter. There are also bottles I wrap in special wattle and which are then used as a decoration for wine, brandy, juices or other beverages. People are no longer interested in souvenirs that have no use,” Halil said.
“Tourists from Canada, USA, Saudi Arabia, European countries – they were all here. They buy these small panniers, bottles I wrapped in thin wattle. I also make hearts of wattle which are usually gifted to someone. Tourists from abroad purchase smaller things they can carry, they are not likely to buy a big pannier for hay or fruit,” Halil continues.
As in all crafts, in this job as well there are secrets that are reluctantly revealed, especially when it comes to the quality of wattle – whether it is birch or hazel wattle. Depending on weather conditions, hazel is soaked because it cracks and is hard to bend when dry. Halil knows it all, since without that knowledge and hard work his house budget would not make it to the end of the month.
(Source: klix.ba/ photo source)