Grandfather's Nantucket Basket

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Project by jmartel posted 04-11-2014 03:42 AM 1490 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My grandfather (mother’s side) began building Nantucket baskets in retirement, which eventually grew to him selling them in art galleries on Cape Cod. The main gallery he sold through was in Woods Hole, MA.

This was his final basket that he made before his stroke which left him paralyzed on the left side of his body, in 2005. He never finished the weaving and the upper rim. Fast forward to this year and my father finished up the weaving and the upper rim on the basket and gave it to me. I merely sanded off the old finish that was a mess, added a new finish, and applied the real ivory whale with epoxy. Center is cherry and finish is spray on poly. I did leave the back of the main plate finished as it was as I did not want to remove any of his marks or the carving of his initials/the date.

Just figured I would share basically a 3 generational project. The 2 half-hull models on the wall were his creations as well.

I’ve been calling first dibs on his basket making supplies/forms for a few years now to learn how to do this and I’m hoping I will be able to get them in the near future.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

4 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8581 posts in 3651 days

#1 posted 04-11-2014 08:03 AM

That is one precious piece of family history Jeff.
Your grandfather was a real craftsman.
I like the half models too, especially the top one which I’m pretty sure is a Friendship Sloop.
I think you know that I have a weakness for Friendship Sloops. :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View dbray45's profile


3390 posts in 3629 days

#2 posted 04-11-2014 11:36 AM

Making true Nantucket Baskets is a tradition an art form and craft that is extremely rare. Learning this is something that will be treasured by more than just your family. My wife has one and my mother always wanted one. True works of art. Nantucket baskets are a part of your family history and also a unique part of American history.

Beautiful work.

-- David in Palm Bay, FL

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25190 posts in 3958 days

#3 posted 04-11-2014 01:06 PM

Beautiful heirloom!! ................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Softshell's profile


40 posts in 1509 days

#4 posted 01-25-2018 04:05 PM

Beautiful basket. I too have an interest in learning the craft. And the 1/2 hulls are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

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