Here's my Easter basket to myself. The highlight of my trip to Hilton Head, SC last week was my excursion to St. Helena Island, SC. You see my sister and I did a DNA test to find our link to our African Ancestry and the results came back on our matriarchal side as a close match to Mende Tribe of Sierra Leone. Since I may never get a chance to go to Sierra Leone, I research their whereabouts here in the states. The largest concentration of slaves from Sierra Leone were traded in Charleston, S.C. and even today many of their decendants still live along the coastal islands of the Southeast United States.
I visited the Penn Center one of the first schools for freed slaves. The artifacts were amazing ( I spent three hours reading every plaque), but I couldn't take any photos. One of my goals on this trip was to purchase a sweetgrass basket, which I found. Basket makers in & from Sierra Leone use baskets for just about everything. I particularly wanted this item so that it sould sit in a place of prominence in our home as a symbol of of Sierra Leone heritage. My goal was accomplished.
I am absolutely in love with anything natural. Technology, plastics, fiberglass, synthetics and such are nice and all, but I love anything made form the earth. Sometimes we get all caught up in our material world and overlook the God-given materials provided to us.
I can truly say this is one article in my home that makes me happy. No matter what, when I see this basket, I will immediately feel happy.
It's amazing how when your spirit is quiet you have the freedom to hear God's voice. As I was taking photos of buildings at the Penn Center I was led to go into this small cottage. Nothing outside the cottage really indicated that it was business, I had heard in the gift shop that there was an indigo artist on the grounds.
Meet Adesola Falade of Ibile Organic Indigo Studio. He's an artist that shared his history and craft with me. Here he is working on Batik clothing that he creates and sells. He also teaches workshops, so if you ever in the area, please look him up or e-mail me for his contact information.
Adesola is from Nigeria and he shared the process of making Batiks with me. Here he is using a piece of foam dipped in melted wax to draw his designs on fabric. Later, using indigo, native to the island he will dye the fabric in caldrons out in the yard. After the dyeing process he'll remove the wax and the design will be revealed. Very similar to the stampers use of Versamark and stamping ink techniques. He also creates designs on fabrics and then makes quilts...fabulous works that he sews himself.
As Adesola was talking and working, I noticed large wooden Adinkra stamps in the wax. I told him that I too was an artist of sorts, but I use paper and I explained creative scrapbooking to him. I shared with him my desire to find large sized stamps like the one he was using, but slightly smaller for my scrapbooking. He went to a corner and pulled out a cardboard box and to my surprise it was full of 2-4 inch wooden adinkra stamps. You would have thought I won a HOF nomination the way I screamed! Yes ladies, my heart's desire was granted, I purchased a dozen of these stamps and we'll be using them in my future classes!