While looking through my books, this morning, I rediscovered several volumes of the Foxfire books. I began reading these books during the 1970's. I've enjoyed them over and over again, through the years. Foxfire consists of several volumes, telling the stories and customs of the people of Appalachia.
As I picked up the first volume, it fell open to the chapter about White Oak Splits. I have several White Oak Split baskets, handmade by Missouri Artisans. They are beautiful in their simplicity. The smallest basket in the photo was purchased in 1972 or 73. It is from a basketmaker at Silver Dollar City, near Branson, MO. Years later, I was at a craft show in Wentzville, MO., where I met the daughter of the SDC artisan. She was carrying on the basket weaving tradition. I was so happy to be able to purchase one of her baskets. We have it at our weekend home, at The Lake of the Ozarks.
The two larger baskets toward the front, were made by a Washington, MO artisan. I purchased them at a festival near Marthasville, MO, during the 1990's. The dark basket toward the back is another example of White Oak Split basketry. It's over 100 years old and was purchased at an estate auction.
The little chair was purchased on South Main Street, Historic St Charles, MO. We found it at the shop of an artisan. We owned a rocker that needed a new seat and took it to her for restoration. She too, was carrying on a family tradition of White Oak Split weaving. When we picked up our rocker, the little chair came home with us, too. It now sits at a small writing table in our kitchen.
During the 1970's, students at my hometown high school began a project similar to Foxfire. Their publication was called Bittersweet. It has been described as a "Foxfire of the Ozarks".