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Fundi Box – Woven Raffia Sunburst Mirror

This is my second woven raffia sunburst mirror that I’ve made recently, but this one is from the September Fundi Box (https://www.fundibox.co.uk/). As usual the inspiration for the box is taken from Africa using the tradition of basket weaving joined with the sun motif, which not only makes you think of warmer climes (especially now the weather has turned) but is also bang on trend for home décor at the moment. Not only this but the raffia used is from a species of palm native to tropical regions of Africa, particularly Madagascar.

Included in the box was:

  • Circular mirror
  • Raffia hanks x3 (1 natural, 1 black, 1 colour of choice)
  • Wooden dowel rods
  • Glue
  • Twine rope
  • Circular paper template
  • African gift of the month

The gift this month was a carved box made using soapstone from Kenya. It was handmade by the Kisii people of the Tabaka Hills in Western Africa. This mineral was originally used for domestic purposes, but is now used for handmade carvings exported around the world. Their carvings can be found on Bazaar Africa (https://bazaar-africa.eu/bazaar/).

As with the last project I was emailed for my colour choice for the third raffia hank choosing from six options. I chose teal for mine. I have to admit that I went a bit rogue from the instructions on this one. The first instruction was to cut the dowel rods down to size, but when I measured them up I felt like they would be quite short, especially compared to the photographs where the rods were sticking out quite far from the edge of the mirror, so I decided to skip this stage and leave my rods full length. As I was glueing them on, using the circular template as a guide for where to place them, I staggered them to create an alternating pattern. 

Once all the dowel rods were in place and the glue had dried I could then begin weaving. This was the bit I was most looking forward to. Weaving is such a relaxing craft and it’s so satisfying to see the design building up. This is the second place were I deviated from the instructions, but only in the order in which I did the colours. The suggested order was natural, black, natural then finishing with your colour, but I decided to do a few more layers with natural, black, teal, black, natural.

The last thing to do was create a hook for the back by doubling over a length of the twine rope and wrapping it in some raffia and then glueing it to the back. There was also the option to add a twine rope trim to the front of the mirror but I decided against that as I like the way it looks without it and I was worried that I might not be able to do it neatly enough, which would ruin the look of the mirror. 

The only real issue I had with this kit was that some of the dowel rods kept coming unstuck so I had to keep glueing them back down and then waiting for it to set again before I could continue with the project, which was why it took me so long to complete it, but apart from that I had a great time with this kit!

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