Billy Ray Sims Basketmaker

Category: Billy’s Baskets

White Oak Market Basket

6 1/2″ x 10″ x 7 1/2″ I’ve enjoyed the privilege of working before with Leona Waddell, a wonderful master basketmaker in Cecilia, KY, but this one was something special. It’s a small market basket, similar to larger versions Leona…

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It’s All in the De “tails”

10″ x 10″ x 48″ Here’s a white oak fish trap that was a boatload of fun to make. It’s a replica, with exception of carved heads and tails, of a trap made by old-time South Carolina basket weaver Elbert…

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Lessons from the Past

Potato Basket 21″ x 21″ x 9″ Rib-work construction; hand-split white oak There are few basket makers who work with white oak.  It’s labor intensive—this basket required hand splitting the good part of two small oak trees—and most of those…

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White Oak Fish Creel

White Oak Creel 8″x12″x6″ Split-work construction; white oak weaving and quarter-sawn oak lid; saddle leather strap The basket shown is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a gift of Martha G. Ware and Steven R. Cole. It’s made on a mold to…

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Sweetgrass Rice Fanner

2 1/4″ x 16″ x 16″ Coiled and sewn construction; sweetgrass, bulrush, palmetto Some 15 years ago, I lived on an old wooden sailboat on the Stono River just south of Charleston, SC. Newly divorced and in need of healing,…

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Black Ash Pack Baskets

22″ x 13″ x 9″ Woven, split-work construction; hand-split black ash and white oak, saddle leather straps Woven from New Hampshire black ash with white oak rim and handle, this basket was a fun take on the traditional New England…

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