Lucreaty Clark Weaving a White Oak Basket


Lucreaty J. Clark was born in 1904 in Lamont, Florida. She continued the craft of making white oak baskets, which she learned from her mother and father. Her parents originally made these sturdy baskets for use on the plantation where they lived and worked in north Florida, an area where white oaks are plentiful. The baskets were used to hold cotton and carry vegetables. Before making baskets, Clark would select a tree of the right size and, once cut down, would split the logs into thin strips or “splits.” White oak splits are naturally pliable and do not require soaking to make them softer, as do other woods. Clark would weave a basket from the bottom up, without a formal plan or measurements, finishing with the rim. Clark died in 1986, but the family tradition of white oak basket making was carried on by her grandson, Alphonso Jennings. This image from the Florida Folklife Archive records this unique folk art form of the southeastern United States.

Last updated: October 22, 2014