One great craft we are noted for here in the Adirondacks are handcrafted baskets.
A traditional Adirondack pack basket is woven with wood harvested from the interior of the Black Ash tree. This particular species yields splints that are satiny in finish and have the ability to withstand moisture. First, a suitable tree, growing straight and free of knots, must be identified. The harvested logs are then pounded into ten-foot strips that are scraped smooth. Finally, the strips are woven together into the desirable bowed shape, with a protruding “belly” to maximize the volume of objects that can be carried. These original packs made by Native Americans had woven straps of grass; settlers and hunters preferred theirs with leather or webbed fabric harnesses called “Shaker straps” which ensured a comfortable yet secure fit.
Here at the Pink Pig, we carry a unique selection of baskets made here in the Adirondacks by the Mountain Weavers Guild which was found in May of 2008 by six individuals participating in day services at Mountain Lake Services. What they wanted was a place to build their artistic talents as basket weavers while learning work skills related to the creative arts industry. From naming the enterprise to setting up their studio to creating their own business card and portfolios to interviewing their direct-support staff, members of the guild participate in all aspects of the business.
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With much love from the North Country!