Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Textiles and Tea, a needle and a puzzle

 Yesterday's Textiles and Tea featured Corey Alston, wonderful fifth generation Gullah basket maker, whose wife and daughter also continue the tradition.

It stems from enslaved West African people, forcibly shipped to the Carolinas, mostly via Charleston, to exploit their skills in growing rice. They found the native sweetgrass similar to the West African grasses they used to weave baskets needed for winnowing the rice harvest, and adopted them, to continue making the baskets. They also use cattails and other grasses, for contrasting color.

They're functional and an artform, as you see. He does a lot of teaching and speaking, to keep the Gullah culture known, and can be found at Charleston Market, weaving his baskets and answering questions, as well as selling. He harvests and dries his own supplies of grasses, which he works, stitching with split palm leaves, to create his artworks. He encourages buyers to handle and use them, not just hang them on the  wall!














If you're unfamiliar with the rich history of the Gullah people, I'd encourage you to go to his website and learn about this national cultural treasure. 

Back at the ranch, I did get the rsv vaccine and have nothing more than a sore arm to prove it. Next Sunday is the covid booster appointment I finally secured at a location I'm fairly familiar with. 

And here's a midweek puzzle for people who did or didn't get the last one


And a few flowers for your floral pleasure


Happy day, everyone, may all your vaxxes work out with few side effects. And here's a public service announcement in case you didn't know this call for help







26 comments:

  1. big man, big baskets. interesting work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's a lovely personality, big and warm, you just want to know him.

      Delete
  2. Basketry is such a beautiful and functional art form. Mr. Alston's work is magnificent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's a world class artist, I'm glad to extend his reach here. He does things nobody else can approach.

      Delete
  3. What beautiful baskets - unique I think

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're classic Gullah. They also have a cuisine. And much more

      Delete
  4. Those baskets are amazing. Wow. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just watched in wonder as he worked, talking all the while.

      Delete
  5. I just solved the HH puzzle! We have some in my city.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is that a universal symbol I wonder. Those baskets are definitely art as well as useful. Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen it described in the US. There may be one in the UK. You could ask at your local women's shelter?

      Delete
  7. And did the puzzle! Helped a bit by Debra's clue.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What beautiful basket work Corey does. Truly a treasure. I can understand people wanting to display it rather than use it. I think I would use it though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He explained that if you don't handle and use it ss a container, and wipe it with a damp cloth occasionally, it will dry out and crack. Your hands are good for it, also fruit or other foods.

      Delete
    2. Such a beautiful work of art!
      Cathy

      Delete
  9. I was in South Carolina, near Charleston not long ago and my friend introduced me to native Gullah weavers. I purchased some small baskets for my granddaughter.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The baskets are really fascinating — so intricate!
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I stand in awe at Mr. Alston's functional artistry. And to think that using the baskets will help preserve them - wow! Gullah culture and history is fascinating.

    After being skunked by the last HH puzzle, the answer to this one leapt out at me. Odd how one's brain works.

    Chris from Boise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that happened to a couple of people. It's like the puzzle function was spring loaded for this one. Alston is a lovely guy, a person you'd love for a friend, talented,. wise and patient with people's ignorance.

      Delete
  12. Those baskets are so beautiful and each is a piece of art. Never thought of the possibility of damage happening due to non-use. Thank you for the reminder about the universal distress signal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's good to know that signal, just in case you ever see it in action, you'll know your next move.
      So now you know -- use your priceless baskets!

      Delete

Thanks so much for commenting. I really appreciate your taking the time, and taking part.