Skip to main content

Oat Straw Weaving

Curated Submission
MacNutt, Saskatchewan
1970 - 1980
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
39 x 39 x 89
Materials & techniques
Wood, oat straw, metal; Woodwork, hand-woven
Made by Adam Reinhold
Saskatchewan Western Development Museum WDM-2004-Y-31
Unable to leave their MacNutt farm during a Saskatchewan snowstorm, Martha and Adam Reinhold used the time well: Martha taught her husband to weave oat straw. The art had been passed down through Martha’s family, and for Adam it became an enduring hobby. Oat straw is typically a rich golden colour. Adam claimed that the degree of golden colouring is determined by whether rain fell on the cut grain swaths. Harvested in the fall, oat straw has a thicker core than crops such as wheat. The stems differ in thickness, and Adam was careful to select various thicknesses for his work. Once selected, the fragile stalks are soaked in water to make them easier to work.
Adam’s twist on traditional straw weaving was to integrate it into functional furniture pieces, which graced his home and the homes of family and friends. From coffee tables to planters, he creatively brought the harvest home. Adam experimented with several weaving techniques to create his complicated works of art. For pieces such as the legs of this plant stand, the weaving was often done right around the wood. Pieces of the frame were built separately, the weaving was added, and then the pieces were assembled into the whole. Trim was made by weaving five stalks around a core of four. This trim was then attached with stick pins or staples. New stalks were added by simply slipping the hollow tubes over the old.
For many years Adam and Martha travelled to nearby Yorkton, Saskatchewan, for craft fairs. They could not enter the same piece twice, so Adam constantly innovated and created designs for new pieces. The couple was invited to demonstrate at the Canadian Craft Council in Ottawa in 1980. Adam passed away in September 2000 at the age of 88.
Submit a related artifact
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Pinterest Email More...

Main sponsors

  • Logo of the Imperial Oil Foundation with accompanying characteristic oval 'Esso' symbol.

Institutional partners