This handmade conical Zulu telephone wire basket is approximately 6" deep by 9" in diameter at the top, tapering to 3" at the bottom. It has a swirl pattern in sea tones of blue, green, and brown mixed with bare copper wire. If you order this striking African basket you will receive the exact one seen in the picture (there is only one).
Zulu telephone wire baskets are hand woven by the Zulu people in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa. The weavers combine traditional skills with modern materials, resulting in durable and practical works of art. These beautiful baskets are woven from the rim down, using plastic coated electrical and telephone wires with the occasional bare metal wire woven in as a highlight. Along with the skill and experience needed to produce intricate patterns, the weaver must have great hand and forearm strength in order to achieve the tight weave. Unlike most African baskets, telephone wire baskets are often woven by men. In fact, male Zulu factory workers and miners initially wove the baskets from discarded wire found on their job sites. What began as a way to pass time turned into a source of income, and what was once trash became art. Now, several hundred artisans produce the baskets full time, providing much needed revenue to rural Zulu families, while enabling the weavers to remain in their hometowns rather than migrating in search of work. Although the baskets are often used just for display, they are rugged enough to withstand heavy use, and can easily be hand washed if needed.
About the brand: African Creative was founded in 2004 in Cape Town, South Africa by a local musician seeking to link local artisans to global markets. The business is based on fair trade principles, artistic collaboration, and entrepreneurial empowerment. It specializes in high quality bead and wire art. In 2013 African Creative launched The Locked Horn Project to raise funds to combat rhinoceros poaching, and it is a supporter of SANCCOB, a South African non-profit organization that works to conserve marine life.