Have you ever driven along the sweetgrass basket highway? On Hwy 17 near Charleston SC, there are sweetgrass basket stands lining the road. Kirk thought one was enough, but I talked him into stopping several times. My favorite was Mazie Brown's.
Mazie has an outgoing personality and a great smile even though I didn't catch it on camera. It was fun to watch her making a sweetgrass basket! Mazie learned from her mother and she made her first basket when she was eight years old.
Here she's concentrating on explaining how the basket is made. Mazie wraps palmetto strands tightly around sweetgrass to make each row. Notice the spoon handle in her lap - she pokes it between the strands of the previous row to make space to slide the palmetto through and connect the rows.
These are her ingredients: sweetgrass, palmetto and bullrushes. Pine needles are woven in for color. Years ago, bulrushes were used for work baskets because they're hollow and much lighter weight. Sweetgrass is now used for household and decorative baskets. The baskets are green when first made and the color changes to a light tan as they dry.
I liked the 2 loop basket -perfect for dinner rolls!It took Mazie about three days to make this basket.