John Derrick's Photos | Digital Traditions

A native of Leesville (Lexington County), Derrick came from a long line of basketmakers. His grandfather, William Derrick, farmed and made baskets in the Saluda River bottoms where Lake Murray is today. Derrick learned as boy from his father, Marion. As Marion split the wood, Derrick would start weaving the round bottoms fo corn baskets, one fo the most useful baskets for farmers in the area.

Derrick worked all of his life, from an early age. Cotton mills, "duck mills" making canvas, and mechanical work kept him busy. Upon retirement, he returned to his basketmaking roots.

Derrick made a variety of basket forms, including several smaller than the corn basket his father taught him to make. While he sold baskets to folks all over the country, most of his baskets were purchased and used right in Lexington County.