About Baskets

Westfall White Oak Baskets

These handmade, one of a kind baskets are completely made of white oak. From picking out the perfect size tree, down to each individual split, these unique baskets are made with the tools of our forefathers.

Basket making goes back several generations in our family. My mother, Elsie (Westfall) Lynn and her sisters & brothers use to make these baskets as children on the family farm. My grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-uncles use to make these baskets to supplement their income. My uncle, Everett Westfall, researched the history of the family heritage and found that our family uses a unique method of weaving. Uncle Everett was invited to demonstrate his basket making skills at the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans. The University of Missouri at Columbia has preserved the art form by filming my aunt, Marjorie (Westfall) Prewitt teaching her nephew, Ronnie Westfall (Uncle Everett's son) the art of basket making.

 

The sketch on this page is of my grandfather with his baskets all loaded up, ready to peddle his wares. White Oak baskets were an integral part of everyday life in my grandfather's day. The baskets were usually quite large such as a bushel, peck, or 1/2 peck sizes. These days you will find that the baskets are much smaller and used for decorative purposes. I even have one my mother made that is small enough to wear on a necklace chain. She doesn't make too many of that size. I do own one that is estimated to be from my grandfather's era.

The baskets offered for sale on the Handcrafted White Oak Baskets page were made by my mother, Elsie (Westfall) Lynn which she signs and dates. After she and my father have cut the perfect tree, it is split into each component of the basket and then woven together to create each unique basket. As you can see, each basket comes with a great history behind its making. If you should choose to purchase one of our Westfall White Oak Baskets, we hope you will enjoy it for a life time and pass it down to the next generation.

Cindy Bonnette

PS: To answer the question I know you will ask?..(because it's been asked of me many times before)?.NO?.I have not learned the craft of basket making? YET. It's one of those things on the proverbial "TO DO LIST". Mom has given me a few lessons but it's going to take many, many more!