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The following baskets are all woven in the Shaker tradition. They are of pounded brown ash woven over wooden molds patterned after original surviving Shaker baskets. The handles and rims are steam bent over special jigs to ensure their perfect shape and fit to each basket. All are made using the Martha Wetherbee system of materials and tools. I have taken numerous classes from Martha over the years and spent two summers in New Hampshire at her basket shop as an apprentice. For the many years Martha came to my house to teach, now I also have JoAnn Kelly Castso and Eric Taylor come to teach. I hope you enjoy looking at these baskets as much as I have enjoyed making them. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at the address/link below.


bushwhacker basket

Bushwhacker Basket
10.5" dia. x 12" h

This is technically not a Shaker basket, but a Bushwhacker style basket. The Bushwhackers were basketmakers from New York state and their baskets were often confused with those made by the Shakers. Bushwhacker baskets often featured a swing handle and a "bump bottom". My version is made of materials I processed myself, including brown ash weavers/uprights, white ash ears and maple handle and rims.

bushwhacker basket bottom

[1/2 Scale Shaker Woodchip Basket]

1/2 Scale Shaker Woodchip Basket
10.75"h x 12.75"l x 8"w

This basket was woven on the same mold as the 1/2 scale carrier and larger tatting. It is a 1/2 scale reproduction of a Shaker woodchip basket. Baskets like these were placed next to a woodstove to keep kindling. While many woodchip baskets feature over-head handles, some like this one had two side handles. They were also usually liked with leather or mattress ticking to keep the smaller woodchips from falling through the holes in the basket.

[Shaker Lidded Knife Basket]

Shaker Lidded Knife Basket
10.75"h x 12.75"l x 8"w

I have been fascinated with this basket since I first saw a photograph of it in "Shaker Baskets & Poplarware". Since there wasn't a mold commercially available for this basket I had to make one myself. The basket features two hinged lids woven in a half quadrafoil pattern.

1/2 Scale Shaker Carrier
9"h x 10.75"l x 8.25"w

This is another basket that I had always wanted to make, but again there weren't any commercially available parts to make it. Also since the original basket, again seen in "Shaker Baskets & Polarware", was quite large I decided to make a half scale reproduction. I made this basket at the John C. Campbell Folk School in January of 2008 and not only did I make the mold for the body of the basket I also make the maple handles, rims and runners.

[1/2 Scale Shaker Carrier Basket]

[1/2 Scale Shaker Carrier Basket]

[1/2 Scale Shaker Carrier Basket]

Shaker Tatting Baskets
6.25"h x 9.25"l x 6.73"w and 7.5"h x 10.75"l x 8.5"w

The smaller tatting basket was the very first basket I wove with Martha Wetherbee in 1989. Over the years it has really developed a very nice patina. The larger tatting is the second basket I made at John C. Campbell Folk School in January of 2008, it uses the same mold proportions as the 1/2 scale carrier. Again I made the mold, handle and rims for the basket.

[Shaker Tatting Baskets]
[Large Shaker Tatting Basket] [Medium Shaker Tatting Basket]


Miniature Puzzle Cathead
2.25" dia. x 3.25"h

This is the last basket I made during my 2008 trip to the Folk School. I have had this little puzzle mold for years, but had never used it. I was very pleased with the outcome and it now is proudly displayed on my basket Christmas tree in my work room. I made the handle and rims for this basket as well.

[Shaker Confection Collection]

Shaker Confection Collection
8" dia. to 4" dia.

This nesting set is a Martha Wetherbee's modernization of the traditional Shaker cat head basket. The baskets features Martha's signature under-arching cherry handles, cherry rims and hand pounded brown ash. We made these baskets during the 2005, 2006 and 2007 workshops.

[Apple Basket]

Apple Basket
19" x 15"

I wove this huge basket during Martha's first visit to teach at my home in 2000. The cherry wood handle and sturdy rims contrast beautifully with the brown ash. The basket also features three sets of cherry runners fastened to the bottom of the basket with countersunk copper rivets.

[Shaker Lidded Knife Basket]

Lidded Knife Basket
6"h x 8.5"l x 5.25"w

This is another of my favorite Shaker designs. I have always been fascinated with the quadrafoil design and love how the pattern is used in constructing the double-hinged lids of this basket. The Shakers, ever conservative on design, took their basic knife basket and added a fancy lid to make this a completely new basket.

[Shaker Keepsake Basket]

Shaker Keepsake Basket
6.5"h x 8.25"l x 5.25"w

This is Martha Wetherbee's modernization of the traditional Shaker knife basket. The basket features a broadly contoured oak handle running the long axis of the basket, creating a new look for a Shaker standard. The body of the basket is woven on a mold based on a Mt. Lebanon Shaker original. We made this in my 2003 workshop and of course I had to make mine a little bit different, so I added oak runners.

[Shaker Trinket Tray]

Shaker Inspired Trinket Tray
5"h x 11.75"l x 5.25"w

This is a design by JoAnn Kelly Catsos inspired the Shaker aesthetic. I love the look of this basket. It is a perfect example of how contemporary Shaker design and proportion still is.

[#4-6 Shaker Nesting Set]

#4-6 Nesting Set
4" to 6" dia.

I wove this set of baskets in November 1999 at a wonderful class with Martha Wetherbee, hosted by Becky Willi. It took us 3 days to complete the baskets with one of those days just to get the height of the bodies and handles correct. They are woven of brown ash with oak handles and rims. These baskets appeared in a TV commercial for SLUCare and St. Louis University Hospital.

[Shaker Basket]

[Mt. Lebanon Carrier Shaker Basket]

Mt. Lebanon Carrier
10"h x 15"l x 8.5"w

I wove this basket during my first apprenticeship with Martha Wetherbee and it is still one of my favorites. The basket features small "feet" on each corner to protect the bottom of the basket from damage, sturdy rims and a cherry bonnet handle.

[Canterbury Carrier Shaker Basket]

Canterbury Carrier
12.5"h x 17.5"l x 13"w

When I first made this basket during my second year apprenticing with Martha I thought it was an "OK" utilitarian basket. But, once I started using it I find that this is the basket I take everywhere. With the addition of the mattress ticking liner it is the perfect basket for anything from picnics to craft projects.

[Shaker Lidded Basket]

Fruit Basket with Captured Lid
12.5" x 9.5"

Basket finely woven of brown ash with captured quadrafoil lid (See detail on right). I made this basket during one of my apprenticeships with Martha Wetherbee in New Hampshire. This was a difficult basket but well worth all the time and hard work.

This basket was the recipient of the "Best in Traditional/Mold Woven Basket" at the 2000 Missouri Basketweavers Convention.

[Shaker Dome Lidded Basket]

Cat Head Basket with Dome Lid
8.5" x 6"

Basket woven of brown ash with dome quadrafoil lid (See detail on right). The body of this basket was woven on a puzzle mold (see basket below) so that the mouth of the basket comes in allowing the dome lid to fit over the top. The hoop shape handle is of cherry and attached to the body of the basket with small cooper tacks.

[Shaker Basket Lid Detail]

[Shaker Style Sewing Basket]

Shaker Inspired Sewing Basket
6" x 9"

This basket, designed and taught by JoAnn Kelly Catsos, is actually 4 baskets in one, the quadrafoil lid, the body and 2 cheese boats, one round and one oval. I very much enjoyed making this basket, but the little hexagon-weave cheese boats did test my patients. I stopped by the Shaker Village at Canterbury, NH on my way to the calls and picked up the poplarware heart-shaped pincushion and needle case, the strawberry emery and the bee's wax cake. I attached these and the cheese boats to the basket with matching ribbon.

[Sewing Basket]

[Sewing Basket]

Quadrafoil Baskets
11.5" dia. x 3.75" & 9.5 dia. x 3"

Like all Shaker baskets these are woven using a mold, though the majority of the weaving (i.e. the base) was done without it. The mold only became necessary in weaving up the sides. This basket takes its name from the quadrafoil or four leaf clover pattern woven into the base. This complex pattern allows for the weaving of a square base into a round basket. Both have study rims and notched side handles.

[Shaker Quadrafoil Basket] [Shaker Quadrafoil Basket]

[Shaker Fruit Basket]

Fruit Basket
10" x 9.5"

This basket has a bonnet shaped handle of steam bent cherry. I made this basket back in 1995, so it has started to get some nice color to it. Today we refer to baskets shaped like this one as "cat head" baskets due to the points or "ears" formed on the base. The Shakers would have referred to this larger sized basket as a "fruit" basket.

[Shaker Low Fruit Basket]

Low Fruit Basket
7.5" x 8.5"

Like the basket above this one has the "cat head" shape. The proportions of this basket are much different though with a low squatty shape. Both the body and the handle of this basket are of brown ash. Because of its unusual shape I had to carve and bend the handle myself from a green stick of ash.

[Shaker Knife Basket]

Knife Basket with Notched Runners
6" x 5.25" x 8.5"

This basket sports a cherry handle and a set of matching cherry runners. I made this basket during my 1996 apprenticeship with Martha. While baskets of this size wouldn't normally have runners I loved the look of the cherry wood against the bright white ash so I carved a mini set of them to add to the basket.

[#6 Shaker Twilled Cat Head Basket]

#6 Twilled Cat Head Basket
7.25" x 6.25"

This basket demonstrates the Shaker's concession to the decorative Victorian era. While much of Victorian America was highly ornate, the Shakers maintained their hallmark style of functional simplicity. The only extra decoration here is a pair of delicate spirals that wrap around the body of the basket. The Shakers used a numbering system to identify their baskets. In this way they knew a #6 handle would always fit a basket made on a #6 mold and so on.

[Shaker Cat Head Basket]

Puzzle Cat Head
6.5" x 5"

This basket was woven over a puzzle mold, which broke into three pieces so it could be removed after weaving. While not hard to weave it took quite a while to get the handle shaped properly to fit the outside curve of the basket.

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Page created April 25, 1998
Copyright, J. Anthony Stubblefield, 1997-2013