Basketmaking has been part of the Charleston community for over 300 years. The tradition was brought to the harbor from West Africa and has been passed on from generation to generation. Historically, they were made by slaves to collect vegetables and other crops from plantations. After the decline of the plantation system, black families continued the tradion of basket weaving.
Today, most baskets are made and sold along the shoulder of Hwy. 17 North, at the Old City Market and in small gift shops in Charleston and Mt. Pleasant. Rigorous craftsmanship and long hours of work are involved in making these baskets.
This is true for our baskets as well. As you can see from yesterday’s post, we have been designing and creating different iterations of baskets and boxes for plantings that will fit into our vertical wall. We worked vigorously on several different options.
I’ve never made a sweetgrass basket before but I can bet that it probably doesn’t cut your fingers and have to be so precisely measured and remeasured. Through the pain and aggrivation, however, we ended up with a great product that we are confident will help to create a successful planting area on our vertical wall.
We may not be taking part in the time old tradition of Charleston basketmaking but we are making baskets in Charleston.