This article first appeared in The GMC Group’s Publication Woodwork Craft 2016

The Moravians, who can trace their roots back to the 15th century, re-emerged in the 18th century in Bavaria. These colonial Germans were members of the Moravian church and they came to America for the same reason others also did around the same time: to escape religious persecution in Europe.

The first American settlement was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, around 1740 and it was there that the Moravians began to build a reputation as artisans.

In the early 1750s a group of the Pennsylvania Moravians moved to Salem, North Carolina and in 1766 establish a centre of trade. In a letter dated May 1754, the Reverend Johann Jacob Friis (1708–1793) wrote, ‘I made the top of a table for myself, and […] cut wood for feet […] They shall be Lyons Claws; is not that too much?’. He went on to say of the first Moravians in North Carolina, ‘one day I am a joiner, the next a carver; what could I not learn if I was not too old?’ Keeping its history in mind, let’s now make a chair!

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This article first appeared in The GMC Group publication Woodwork Craft 2016