Beneath the shade of a single palm tree, the only one situated on Bega Street, rests a heritage-listed house whose history, according a the dip pen ink calligraphy on a piece of parchment in the home, spans well over a century.
In a small timber garage on the righthand side of the cottage, sat an open door, "the sweatshop," filled with shelves of cane, willow, reeds, and a multitude of handwoven baskets, made by resident basket weaver Bob Woszczeiko.
"No nails, no glue, just woven," he said, as he described his process of creating carriable and useable art, some with wooden bases, others made from kangaroo hide.
Within a garden filled with citrus trees and vegetables planted by his wife Sharon, who laughed when describing him as a "basket case", lay a faded green pig's trough filled with cane soaking in water, becoming bendable for Bob's intended purpose.
"Any materials you can use, rattan, willow, anything that's pliable, local stuff, you can make stuff out of wisteria, jasmine vine, I gather it myself," he said, including different colours of Salix in reds, oranges and blacks.
Kilograms of dried reeds nestled awaiting use, twisting and sprawling around the garage, even stored inside an array of distinct and uniquely shaped woven vessels.
Resting on the bench of his workshop, his trusty tool basket was filled with items he utilised as a traditional artisan, from Felco secateurs for riverside reed pruning, to a fid for opening the space between rows of weaving.
Having weaved his way into the industry after hearing about the art form from his roommate, Bob has taught workshops, repaired cane furniture, and continued intertwining fibre together for close to four decades.
"In Victoria, Warragul, we had a gallery and craft shop there, and there was a woodworker and a basket maker, I just thought I was more interested in the woodwork, [but] once I had a go at the basket making, I was hooked," he recalled.
Now, at 70, Bob has no signs of stopping, just like the process of basketry which has lasted millenniums.
"I'll be doing it until day dot," Bob said with a smile.
Some of Bob's baskets are on display at Spiral Gallery in Bega for their "Artesanato - Summer @ Spiral" exhibition from December 1, 2023 to January 18, 2024.