When Lulu Lytle, founder of Soane Britain, took off on a road trip throughout England, she was in search of something she knew was in abundance in her nation, but which was fast disappearing: expert craftspeople. For generations, the British had been fashioning furniture and other household objects out of rattan, one of the most ancient of materials. But as durable as the material is, as stylish and versatile, by the beginning of the early twenty-first century, the last rattan-weaving workshop in Britain was soon to close. That is, until Lytle bought the workshop, instituted a training program, and employed skilled artisans who continue the trade. Her work and vision are celebrated in the recently published Rattan: A World of Elegance and Charm (Rizzoli, $65).
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WRITTEN BY DAVID MASELLO
This story appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of MILIEU.