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Massachusetts basket weaving was first done centuries ago by the Wampanoag Nation here on the Cape and Islands. The craft was eventually happily embraced by the European population. The iconic reed and cane pattern is timeless in its simplicity and beauty. The name “Nantucket Lightship” comes from baskets made in the mid-1800s by sailors aboard the Lightship stationed on the Nantucket Shoals. Weaving was also a popular pastime of loved ones waiting on shore for their sailors to return from sea. Scrimshaw was created by sailors and whalers whose voyages often lasted for months and years. Using knives and other sharp implements, sailors painstakingly engraved intricate designs onto the bones and tusks of whales and other marine mammals. They colored their carvings by rubbing them over with ink, charcoal and lamp black. Scrimshaw was originally done by men at sea to pass time and create a gift for someone at home or to commemorate a ship, a hunt or a voyage. The popularity of scrimshaw and marine arts has soared in recent decades. In 2017 one piece of scrimshaw was sold in Dennis for $465,000. It was the highest price ever paid anywhere for scrimshaw.
The SAILOR BRACELET is the delightful marriage of these two New England artforms and is hand made in Dennis. The weaving materials are wood, cane, leather, bamboo, and rattan. The cane is soaked, woven, dried, sanded, and finished in a process that takes weeks. Once the bracelet (also known as a Nantucket Basket Bracelet) is completed, scrimshaw end caps are added. The scrimmed caps are made of resin, Corian, or eco-ivory which is plant based. Wood caps are hand carved in Boston from Cherry, Walnut and Oak. Colored bracelets are made with dyed cane. The scrimshaw is done by hand on Nantucket. Nantucket Basket Jewelry will develop an antiqued patina with wear and will deepen in color
Making your new Nantucket Basket Sailor Bracelet bracelet truly your own is as easy as asking. Our scrimshanders on Nantucket and Cape Cod are extremely talented and can customize your end caps with monogram, zip code, or birth date. Email or call to discuss.
We are committed making wonderful hand-made Nantucket Basket Sailor Bracelets for you. While shopping with us, we want you to be completely happy with the experience. If you have questions about us, our products, or even shipping, get in touch! We hope you continue to shop with us for many years to come.