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June 20, 2018

The Art of Weaving: The Nantucket Basket 

View the art of Nantucket basket weaving when you sail to this quiet Cape Cod town on our annual Islands of New England itinerary. An old Blount Small Ship Adventure's favorite, experience New England charm from the unique perspective of a small ship.

When you visit Nantucket Island in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, you may notice some intricately woven baskets for sale around the area.

These baskets are not run-of-the-mill gift shop items. Rather, these are works of fine craftsmanship that have been built meticulously by talented weavers in Nantucket. The creators of these baskets often use rattan or cane wood to carefully weave together each stave of the basket by hand over a base in order to create the perfect shape and size.

Nantucket Lightship Baskets were originally made by crewmen who were sailing aboard the Nantucket Lightships as a way to pass time while they were at sea and were eventually gifted to their significant other when they returned home. Today, these baskets have several different uses and shapes, including purses and handbags. It is not uncommon for a young woman in Nantucket to receive a lightship basket purse as a special gift after graduating high school.

These wooden baskets are so impressive that they even have a museum dedicated to them on the island. The Nantucket Lightship Baskets Museum houses a collection of original baskets and woven purses on display for anybody wanting to see just how intricate these works of art can be. When exploring Nantucket on an Islands of New England cruise, stop at the museum and see for youself! Each basket is different and can boast different colors of wood and often have carvings or pictures atop the lid of the basket. For anyone visiting the island of Nantucket, these baskets are certainly a must-see!

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