Friday, August 14, 2009

Sweetgrass Entertaining

Back from Charleston again and as usual, obsessing over the beauty of several pieces of sweetgrass basketry I spotted this week made by my favorite vendor ladies at the Market. These baskets are the only reason I will ever be found on the Market. Okay, except for the artichokes at Garibaldi.

After my last sweetgrass post, I received a number of emails askig for contact information to buy sweetgrass basketry. If you are far afield from Charleston and still wish to become a collector of a historic American art, by far the most beautiful and skilled baskets on the market are made by Martha and Andrea Cayetano, you can email them for information and prices
at andreacayetano@yahoo.com.

Moving on to these new examples of my favorite hand art:

How do I get my mitts on one of these huge biscuit-keeping baskets, large enough for the Christmas cocktail buffet? About $1500. That's how. To my Husband's great credit, he admired it and cast no aspersions upon hearing the price, this is, after all, a nearly dead art.



You get an idea of their size on that second blue tarp above. Enormous baskets of sweetgrass and bullrush. We should all have one.

The smaller version above is no slouch either.



Cake keeper above. I never considered shapes and purposes like these for sweetgrass, and now I am smitten.



A huge platter-like basket. I see this Low Country buffest building in my mind now. The service pieces would cost a fortune but it would be the most cherished one I could imagine. All by southern hands.



No need to check the price on this three foot high basket. It is probably somewhere in the $3,000 neighborhood and the weaver told me there will never be another unless by commission. It took three solid months of her life. Morning noon and night.

6 comments:

PAT said...

We were in Charleston, 4 years ago. That was our first and only time, in this beautiful city. I purchased two sweetgrass baskets, very small ones. One was made by a fifteen year old young man, learning the craft from his grandmother. The other was made by the sweetest lady. We spent a lovely time talking with her. I absolutely cherish these beautiful works of art. We enjoyed that visit to the market and our unforgettable stay, in Charleston.

Another purchase, in Charleston, was a hat. It was handmade by a Charleston artisan. It has a pretty cream colored band, with big bow. I love it. It sits on the chest at the foot of our iron bed.

little augury said...

I would love to get back to Charleston when the weather cools. These are just so beautiful- absolutely tempting, this is when I would love to be able to buy like a fiend. Thank you for the temptation, I am going to file the email address. la

Town and Country Mom said...

We received two sweetgrass baskets for wedding gifts, and, several years later, were blessed to inherit my grandmother's small collection of sweetgrass. She bought her first basket in the 1970s, I think. I treasure them all, but I am looking forward to choosing one for myself this fall. Thanks so much for the lovely post and great photos.

Deanna said...

Lovely, lovely baskets!
I can't even imagine trying to make these.
Blessings to you and may you have a great week-end,
d

cdallen4956 said...

I have a basket like these...it was made about 40 years ago by a great aunt. As a teenager I didn't really like this basket, but for some reason I held onto it...and most of the women in my family received one of these as sewing baskets from out Aunt Caroline. She passed away many, many years agon. Of course, now I'm so happy I still have her basket. I never knew that this was called sweetgrass weaving. We're from the Midwest so I have no idea where my aunt learned to do this. Thank you so much for this post! And I love your blog!

eddieross said...

Those baskets are gorgeous!

Eddie