Ronald “Buster” Scruggs
The springtime landscape in the South is covered by the most glorious wisteria that hangs from trees and bushes in mostly shady, dark areas throughout the Black Belt landscape. Buster Scruggs’ baskets are created from this abundant source of material because, as he says, “it grows everywhere.” The vines he uses were originally native to China and Japan. American wisteria is not suitable for basket making because it grows underground.
Buster was asked by a friend in the floral business if he would make some baskets similar to ones that he bought for his floral shop. He stated that his first baskets were made through trial and error using Kudzu vines which have a beautiful black coloration. He then experimented with wisteria and other vines. To date, Buster has made approximately 7,000 various baskets and woven balls from wisteria.
When asked how his baskets are made, he starts by determining the size and type of a basket, the material is located and cut directly from the wisteria, and the precut vines are arranged according to the predetermined size and shape of the basket. Thus, his assembly line is ready for production on “a little work table in the house” whenever he is ready to work. One small basket is completed in twenty or twenty-five minutes! Thirty minutes for a large one.
And he says his “work” is remodeling houses.