Shaker Kittenhead Basket Workshop


The Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Rd, Harleysville, announces a Shaker Basket Weaving Workshop on Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Here is your chance to weave a small, Shaker Kittenhead basket that is based upon an antique Shaker cathead basket. Students will learn to form the cathead shape on a mold, chase-weave the sides of the basket, notch a handle and lash a rim. This precious basket is a mere 2 3/4″ in diameter x 3″ tall with a handle. It’s a challenge but well worth the effort!

We will be using ash prepared by JoAnn Kelly Catsos, a nationally known ash basket weaver from Massachusetts. The Catsos family harvest and process black ash trees (Fraxinus nigra) that grow in the wet soils of cold swamps in New England. The labor intensive process includes splitting the logs into billets about 2 inches wide and 25-30 growth rings thick and pounding each billet with a wooden mallet to crush the fibers between the growth rings so the individual growth rings can be peeled apart.

Instructor Karen Wychock is a member of the Bucks County Craftsmen’s Guild and the PA Guild of Craftsmen. As a weaver of traditional Shaker baskets, she has sold her work through various shows throughout PA and Delaware. She was also president of the Penn-Jersey Basket Weavers Guild for six years and has taught numerous basket weaving workshops.

The workshop fee is $60 ($55 member) plus $50 for the materials fee. Preregistration is necessary as the workshop size is limited.