Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Black Nova Scotian Baskets

Edith Clayton Horn of Plenty. Cole
Harbour Heritage Farm Museum, 1990.19.01.
          Black Refugees arrived during the War of 1812 with their framework ribbed basket making skill.  Red Maple wood is used for the framework and the “split” or “strip” wefts are used for wrapping the cross-wrap and the most common baskets made are berry and market baskets with handles, fruit and bread baskets without handles, hooded baby cradles and conical Horns of Plenty for Thanksgiving.
          Edith Clayton, an East Preston basket maker and descendant of Black Loyalists was one of Nova Scotia's most well-known basket makers. Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum has several Edith Clayton baskets in their collection available to see on NovaMuse. Joleen Gordon had been a close friend of Edith's for years and was taught a great deal about basket making by Edith. 
Basket, Gathering. Cole Harbour Heritage
Farm Museum, 2003.23.01

Describing the Baskets
          Framework work of handle and rim wood circles, intersected at right angles, held together with two X-shaped cross-wraps of maple “split” or “strip” wefts. Wood ribs inserted into cross woven with maple wefts from each wrap towards the mid-centre of the bottom, adding one or more sets of ribs when needed depending on the shape of the basket. Wefts added by overlapping 3 or 4 ribs are wrapped around rim twice at the end of each row.  Final wefts are overlapped.

Edith Clayton’s Market Basket, A heritage of splintwood basketry in Nova Scotia.  Joleen Gordon.  Halifax, Nova Scotia Museum, 1977.

Baskets of Black Nova Scotians.  Joleen Gordon.  Halifax, Nova Scotia Museum.  Web. 

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