There is a small stretch of Highway 17 not far from my house called the ‘Sweetgrass Corridor’, where dozens of sweetgrass stands line both sides of the road, with artisans sitting on metal folding chairs, weaving a new creation that is an art form more than 300 years old.
I am lucky enough to own a few of these prized baskets, which I proudly display in my office. They are investments, just like buying an original painting and sculpture. This particular form of basket making is an African American tradition that has been taught by mother to daughter to grandchild in South Carolina for generations. The baskets are made from the indigenous plant sweetgrass, which is disappearing from the coastal landscape because of growing development. Several years ago, I even wrote the novel Sweetgrass based on this historical art form.