When you receive your May Elle Decor, you may notice a nice mention of fiber artist and Gullah descendant, Mary Jackson, in a story about Charleston. Acclaimed for her sweetgrass baskets, Ms. Jackson is a 2008 MacArthur Fellow.
These baskets with African roots are yet another item on my "love list," and I often enjoy borrowing Mom's low oblong style to use for a mass of Easter eggs. (Although, I think my mother's was made by a different South Carolinian, not Jackson.) Jackson's baskets are represented in the White House Collection of Arts and Crafts, as well as other museum collections, including the Gibbes.
You're probably thinking, "Oh now even more travelers from L.A. and New York are going to become interested in the baskets." But that's okay. These centuries-old pieces are really classic yet available in a diverse range of shapes and sizes. They've stood the test of time. I'm not too worried about over-exposure.
To learn more about Jackson's work, follow the links below:
Craft in America
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Charleston City Paper
The Post & Courier
Images two through four are from the Charleston City Paper video, and image six is from the Craft in America film. Copyright for image five -- cobra with handle by Mary Jackson -- belongs to the Gibbes.
Also of interest, a weaver I mentioned last year, Mae Hall. Her work is shown above.
Lillie Howard makes an eye-catching basket dubbed Elephant Ear.