A Passion for Basketry
A passion for basketry discovered later in life has seen local basket weaver Petros Nikolaou dedicate himself to promoting the folkloric craft, culminating in the opening of his new museum and exhibition space in Choirokoitia village this summer.
Petros began professionally basket weaving six years ago after 18 years in the hospitality industry. After spending time with his grandparents and watching them weave with thin water reeds he slowly picked up the craft himself and has never looked back!
Quickly discovering that there was both interest and demand for the revitalisation of this local skill, Petros started attending traditional festivals across the island and demonstrating the craft to tourists visiting the region. The next step was opening a workshop in Choirokoitia village at the family home – a beautiful 1903 building of traditional Tochni stone and wood. Here he would demonstrate over 30 different types of traditional basket weaving, later adding Halloumi-making demonstrations in the special cheese ‘Talari’ basket, and welcoming tourist parties from around the world to try their hand at both.
Further expansion is set this summer as Petros opens a new museum and exhibition space next door to his workshop in July. Having bought and renovated the larger, neighbouring 1850s stone house, the avid weaver has transformed it into a Cyprus time capsule, displaying the many baskets he has made from cane and reeds, along with traditional furniture, implements and interesting Cyprus artefacts.
Petros says of the new venture: “My love for basket weaving has led me to create a much larger space where I can welcome organised groups and share this wonderful traditional craft, along with the addition of a locally produced Cyprus brunch in a charming village setting.”
We wish Petros the best of luck. Further information can be found on his Facebook page.