Handwoven Automobiles

25 Jan 2013

We've heard stories of people weaving items for their cars and of people finding design inspiration for their weaving from their cars. Recently, though, we learned of some talented artists who are taking the combination of weaving and automobiles to a new level by transforming their cars with their weaving.

Nigerian artist Ojo Obaniyi recently took his raffia palm cane weaving to a new level. As a way to advertise his wares, Obaniyi covered his entire Volkswagon pickup—inside and out—in handwoven raffia. The result is absolutely incredible! (You can see pictures of his amazing vehicle here.) The truck is so well-covered, and the raffia palm cane is so expertly woven, that it looks as if the truck were actually made from the cane rather than just covered in it. It's also fully functioning and Obaniyi has been seen driving it around the city of Ibadan where unsurprisingly it's been getting a lot of attention.

When Obaniyi was asked why he undertook this project, he said it was to show the world that “artisans also have the talents to effect change and make a positive impact on society. That is why I decided that I too must do something that will make people recognize me and know me across the whole world and, by extension, prove to the world that Africa, and indeed the entire black race, have very talented people.”

Across the world in Hingham, Massachusetts, artists Jeanne Wiley and Ann Conte took on a similar project in 2010 when they covered an old rusted MG Midget in 500 yards of woven recycled and overstock seatbelt webbing. Wiley describes the result (which can be seen here) as magical saying, "It's transformative. The car started out hideous and gross to the touch, and now it's something everyone wants to touch." Of course, unlike Obaniyi's fully operational pickup, you won't be seeing Wiley or Conte driving the Midget on the road anytime soon, as it has no engine. 


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