Nantucket Bracelets
April 18, 2023
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Caitlin grew up on Nantucket, and her love of the island’s culture and heritage developed with her. Tim Parsons, her father, has been making Nantucket Lightship Baskets and conducting workshops for over two decades. His talent in weaving, woodworking, and carving ivory and scrimshaw influenced her from a young age.

Caitlin didn’t return to Nantucket until 2013 when she found the new fashion of Nantucket Bracelets. Making bracelets was simple for her because she already knew how to weave. Caitlin quickly started playing with her designs and fell in love with how the bracelets reflected a contemporary take on a traditional craft. With her Nantucket Bracelets, she is very pleased to carry on the Nantucket Basket-making heritage.

Caitlin handcrafts each band on a brass cuff with talent and accuracy. Rattan, a popular substance in rattan furniture, is valued for its strength, pliability, and durability. Some bracelets also feature woods such as walnut, cherry, and ebony. The end caps (and ivory parts on the bangles) are made from bigger walrus ivory and woolly mammoth ivory tusks.

Caitlin believes that her Nantucket Bracelets will bring her clients pleasure. She hopes that her one-of-a-kind designs will honor the heritage of Nantucket basket-making and keep it living for future generations.

Alaskan fossilized walrus ivory and wooly mammoth ivory are also used in the creation of these beautiful bracelets. Walrus ivory ranges in age from a few hundred to 10,000 years, while mammoth ivory ranges in age from 10,000 to 100,000 years. Each fragment of fossilized ivory is distinctive, with its own hue and design, creating each bracelet one-of-a-kind.

Scrimshaw, or engraving, can be done on lighter portions of preserved walrus ivory or woolly mammoth ivory. Caitlin Parsons’ Nantucket bracelets are the only basket-style bracelets created completely by hand on Nantucket Island, from weaving to carving to scrimshaw.

Caitlin’s Nantucket Bracelets are influenced by the traditional crafting materials and techniques used in the creation of Nantucket Lightship Baskets. Caitlin handcrafts and carves each bangle and ivory end cover from unusual materials such as fossilized walrus and wooly mammoth ivories.

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