Massachusetts Bay Trading Co.
Bobbi Hall: Nantucket Lightship Baskets
Bobbi Hall is a master of not only Nantucket Lightship Baskets, but also Sailor's Valentines and Mattapoisett pocketbooks. The Mattapoisett Basket was created by Gladys Ellis, who tutored Bobbi on the finer aspects of this art. Even more elaborate than the Nantucket Basket, Mattapoisett Baskets are made by weaving pine needles and raffia, accented by pieces of scrimshaw and with a handle often made of bone. This style of pocketbook can take two years to make and cost up to $20,000.
The Sailor's Valentine is an octagonal wooden display case lined with fabric onto which an intricate pattern of small shells, seeds, or other materials are glued. Often a sentimental phrase, such as "Forget Me Not", "With Love" or other words that we use on Valentine's Day are spelled out in the middle. The shape is thought to have come from old compass cases carried aboard sailing ships.
In addition to crafting these exquisite items, Bobbi also teaches these crafts at her home studio in Scituate, Massachusetts, where she has lived for the past 50 years. In 1991, Bobbie and her daughter, Meredith, designed and co-founded the Stowe Basketry Festival, hosted each May north in the mountain village of Stowe, Vermont. She is also a charter member of the Festival's annual world-renowned faculty.
Bobbi is a member of the Mayflower Society, having been directly descended from John Howland. She is also an active genealogist, enjoying the rewards of uncovering family stories, ties, and secrets. She volunteers many hours each year as a guide at the John Howland House in Plymouth, Massachusetts.