Our November Artist in Residence, Jery Bennett-Taylor, joined us at the Artist Cottage for a week full of sweetgrass basket weaving. Jery Bennett-Taylor of Jery’s Baskets is a master craftswoman who intertwines her Gullah heritage with West African tradition in each meticulously woven Beaufort Basket, paying homage to centuries of handiwork. Taylor was just five years old when she began learning the Lowcountry tradition of sweetgrass basketry from her grandmother in South Carolina. When sweetgrass became scarce, she taught herself how to use the bulrush employed in her Beaufort Baskets.  Cajoling the darker, more brittle marsh grass into the tight spiral lines requires a skilled hand. Her baskets are on display at premier locations around the country, including the Smithsonian, and private collectors alike prize Taylor’s work.

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