For The Home
For The Body For The
Body

For The Spirit For The
Spirit

Contact/Visit Us Contact/
Visit Us/

Purchase
For The Home
T E L E P H O N E 
W I R E   B A S K E T S

From South Africa

Room 1

For centuries South Africa's Zulu people have been famous for the sturdy and beautiful baskets they weave from grasses and palm leaf. The weaving was so tight that the best ukhamba baskets were actually used to store beer! Today these baskets are still woven in the countryside, but the Zulus living in urban area have invented a new kind of basket, the imbenge basket woven entirely of recycled telephone wire. The baskets are as bright and colorful as the telephone wire, and very sturdy. They are also completely washable! In recent years people in craft cooperatives in the the neighboring nation of Zimbabwe have developed their own distinct style of telephone wire basket, which we are also offering here. These baskets are all one-of-a-kind, and our inventory is constantly changing.

A museum show from the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe has featured these baskets. Read about them in the book Recycled Re-Seen: Folk Art from the Global Scrap Heap by Charlene Cerny and Suzanne Seriff, Abrams/Museum of New Mexico:
The fine, even texture and colors of telephone wire are used in this basket to produce an intricate, swirling design. The techniques and aesthetic of traditional grass basket-weaving have been beautifully adapted by contemporary Zulu artisans to this readly available scrap material..

Our recycled products, including telephone-wire baskets, were featured in the March 2005 issue of Sky magazine. The article, Bags, Bottle Caps and Tin Cans: Craftspeople from Around the World Create from Recycled Materials tells the story of our long fascination with people's resourceful use of discarded materials.
Lovers of these baskets will want to own this newly published book, written by one of the leaders in developing and promoting the craft, along with a major collector of the baskets.



Wired
Contemporary Zulu Telephone wire Baskets

by David Arment and Marisa Fick-Jordaan
S/C Editions, Santa Fe 2005
Distributed by Museum of New Mexico Press
212 pages

A spectacular book! Essential reading for collectors of telephone-wire baskets and all recycled arts.

$50.00
Out of Print



Hand/Eye #09
South Africa

The beautiful international art and craft magazine Hand/Eye has just come out with their latest issue, focusing on South Africa. You can order this coopy directly from us or subscribe at: www.handeyemagazine.com

$9.95 each issue

Zodwa Maphumulo works on a "hardwire" basket in Santa Fe, July 2005.


South African Imbenge basket artist Vincent Sithole demonstrates his art on a "hardwire basket" at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, NM, July 2004.

South African Imbenge basket artist Jaheni Mkhize demonstrates "soft basket" construction in Santa Fe, July 2005.

Detail of Jaheni Mkhize at work on a"soft basket".


Elliot Mkhize with some of his work at the 2014 International Folk Art Market.
(Photograph © Anthony Hart Fisher 2014)

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb-mini_a)

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb-mini_b)

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb192)
Imbenge - Small (bright multicolor)
Zulu Wire Basket (#zwb-sml-multi)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (4 3/4"w x 2 1/4" h)
Small baskets available in assorted bright colors and patterns, similar to samples above - available with or without the black color.

$29 each

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb-sml)

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb193)

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb194)

Imbenge - Small
Zulu Wire Basket (#zwb-sml)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (5"w x 2" h)
Small size baskets available in assorted colors and patterns (samples above).

$29 each

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb-mini_b)

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb192)

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb192)

Imbenge - Small Flared Bowl (bright multicolor)
Zulu Wire Basket (#zwb-sml-multi)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (4 3/4"w x 2 1/4" h)
Small Flared Bowl baskets available in assorted bright colors and patterns, similar to samples above - available with or without the black color.

$42 each

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb-mini_b)

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb-mini_b)

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb-mini_b)

Imbenge - Small Flared Bowl (black and white)
Zulu Wire Basket (#zwb-sml-multi)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (4 3/4"w x 2 1/4" h)
Small Flared Bowl baskets available in assorted patterns, similar to sample above.

$42 each

Out of Stock

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb-sml)


Imbenge - Mini
Zulu Wire Basket (#zwb-mini)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (5"w x 2" h)
Mini size baskets available in assorted colors and patterns (samples above).

$24 each

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb262)

Imbenge
Zulu Wire Basket (bowl shape) (#zwb262)
by Magambushe Mvelase - South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (7 3/4"w x 2 1/4" h)

$68

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb263)

Imbenge
Zulu Wire Basket (bowl shape) (#zwb263)
by Norah Mbhele - South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (7 3/4"w x 2 1/4" h)

$68

SOLD 12/12

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb300)

Imbenge
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket (bowl shape) (#zwb300)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (6 1/2"w x 2" h)

$48

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb387)

Imbenge
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket (footed bowl shape) (#zwb434)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (7 1/4"w. x 2 1/4" h.)

$54

SOLD 11/13

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb387)

Imbenge
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket (footed bowl shape) (#zwb435)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (7 3/4"w. x 2 1/2" h.)

$54

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb440)

Imbenge
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket (footed bowl shape) (#zwb440)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (7 3/4"w. x 2 1/2" h.)

$58

SOLD 8/10

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb456)

Imbenge
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket (bowl shape) (#zwb456)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (8"w. x 3" h.)

$72

SOLD 11/12

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb460)

Imbenge
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket (bowl shape) (#zwb515)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (6"w. x 2 1/4" h.)

$42

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb460)

Imbenge
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket (flared shape) (#zwb517)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (6"w. x 2 1/4" h.)

$42

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb460)

Imbenge
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket (shallow style) (#zwb540)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (8 1/2"w. x 1 1/2" h.)

$58

Telephone Wire Basket (#zwb460)

Imbenge
Zulu Telephone Wire Basket (shallow style) (#zwb542)
South Africa
Recycled telephone wire (8 1/2"w. x 1 1/2" h.)

$58



PREVIOUS PAGE
Recycled Art & Toys
NEXT PAGE
More Baskets
BACK TO TELEPHONE WIRE PAGE
BACK TO STORE PAGE
BACK TO AFRICAN ART GALLERY
1400 North American St., #104 • Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: (215) 765-1041 • Toll Free: (888) INDIART • Fax: (215) 765-1042
E-Mail: indigofamily@indigoarts.com

Al l photographs and text Copyright Indigo Arts Gallery, LLC., 1998-2014. Use without permission prohibited.

Return To Indigo Store News And Events About Us Main Menu Indigo Arts Cards Indigo Arts Gallery
Indigo
Store
News &
Events
About
Us
Main
Menu
Indigo Arts
Cards
Indigo Arts
Gallery