For Immediate Release, http://www.sweetcharlestondesigns.com
Charleston, S.C. (April 1, 2014) – Sweet Charleston Designs, (www.sweetcharlestondesigns.com), the South’s first designer jewelry company to honor the ancient art form of coiled woven rice winnowing baskets, commonly referred to as Sweet Grass Basketry continues to build momentum with their launch of their gift and museum collections, referred to as “Sweet Traditions”.
The line consists of embossed sweet grass motifs using sterling silver, pewter, and 24K Harmony Gold Plate over brass giving a completely new look for pendants, earrings, key fobs and cuff bracelets.
Janie Manning of Raleigh NC, along with Angie Caldwell Buxton of Daniel Island, partners at Sweet Charleston Designs, introduced collections of designer jewelry as a way of honoring and preserving the Lowcountry art form. They are pleased to celebrate the growth of their small business, by inviting 5th and 6th generation sweet grass basket artist Tonya White, Mary Charles and Laverne White basket makers to attend events around the country. They have introduced the art form and Sweetgrass history to school children in South Carolina, exhibited the basket making art in Augusta GA as a guest of Windsor Fine Jewelers, participated recently during Black History Month, at The Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg VA, The Women’s Empowerment Expo in Raleigh NC, during Charleston Fashion Week 2014 and the schedule continues for the rest of 2014.
“Charleston is the nucleus for the Gullah-Geechee tradition of baskets and was an ideal place to launch our collections,” said Manning about the expansion of their jewelry to destinations beyond the South Carolina market. “As the number one destination city in the country, a rising center for fashion, arts and the world of design, the name “Charleston” captured the spirit of preserving a art form. Interest in their jewelry has caught the attention of customers around the globe and more and more retail stores are beginning to carry their lines as the word spreads about their passion and purpose of educating others about the crafts origin.
Buxton’s creative use of the term “Sweet”, coupled with “Charleston” proves to be a winning combination of terms descriptive of both the key basket ingredient Sweetgrass, which is the main ingredient in basket sewing and the passion of the two designers flourished.
The collections, named for both inland and coastal waterways that have relevance to either early rice plantations, or areas where the natural resources for the baskets are found are all designed, custom crafted and produced in the USA. They utilize the talents of several casting companies and offer one of the most unique features to showcase the essence of Lowcountry elegance by hand weaving 18K gold over gently oxidized sterling silver, mimicking the Sweetgrass basket pattern of design. “We were able to provide gold and silversmiths with detailed direction in how to use metal in new ways that would reflect the elements of basket composition.