The Laker, July 6, 1998
She Keeps Shaker Basket Tradition Alive
By Enda S. Slack
To make a classic Shaker ash splint basket, you first must pound a log.
That homely fact may come as a surprise to those of us who admire the sleek lines and feather weight of these woven baskets, one of the many gifts we have inherited from old Shaker tradition.
However, pounding a log – by hand – is one of the first steps taken by basketmaker Sharon Dugan when she sets out to create the fine Shaker classics she now has for sale at Shaker Village in Canterbury and in League of New Hampshire Craftsmen shops in Sandwich, Meredith, Wolfeboro, Exeter and Concord. Pounding softens the ash wood so that it separates along the natural line of the grain into pliable splints, which in turn are separated into thin, yarn-like strands that are hand-woven into a variety of basket shapes.