Made of palm in the south of India, willow in the UK and sweetgrass from the Gullah people of the Carolinas, baskets are as universal a design as you’ll find. As noted by Deborah Needleman in a piece for the New York Times Magazine, baskets, fairly or unfairly, take a backseat to pottery as the cool kid of everpresent design — except in Sweden.
Having racked up 100 years of Swedish blue-collar grit, Korbo wire baskets are made today the same as they were in 1922: with a single wire, by hand, without welding and just about indestructible.
Nowadays, Korbo’s super sturdy baskets are far more popular for holding books, throw blankets, magazines and firewood, but they were made for the fisherman and farmers of the region at their founding. The use of galvanized steel (basically, steel with a zinc coating applied) made them impervious to the effects of rain and snow. This galvanization process also allows the metal to develop a patina over time, something non-galvanized stainless steel will not allow. A few years ago, the company released baskets in brass and copper as well, which patina in much the same way.
Korbo baskets aren’t available for purchase through its site, but most of the range is available online at Design Within Reach, starting at $150.