VideoJohn Derrick talks about the skills he learned from his father.
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.
Content is provided by McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina.
VideoDerrick finishes the rim on a split oak basket and prepares to attach the handle.
DocumentThe document includes transcripts for John Derrick's audio.
PhotoA 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...
AudioJohn Derrick explains why learning to split wood is the most difficult aspect of basket making.
AudioDerrick judges by the length of the wood what size to make a basket.
AudioDerrick discusses how to make rims for baskets.
AudioJohn Derrick talks about where to find the ideal white oak for splitting.
AudioJohn Derrick talks about why his baskets are unique.