This article first appeared in The GMC Group’s Publication Woodwork Craft 2016
The Shakers came to America in the 18th Century and over the years became highly skilled woodworkers, developing their own sense of design. Their furniture and interiors were simple and austere believing that everything be made with a minimum of extra detail or decoration, and only made for their intended use.
Looking at some modern furniture designs it is clear that the Shaker’s designs continue to influence designs of the 21st century, Danish Modern styles are a good example.
This bench is going to be used outside and so will be made in Hard Maple. It would also be durable enough for use in a ‘mud room’ or elegant enough to grace a hall way. Many fine examples of original Shaker furniture can be seen in the collection of the Shaker Museum and Library in Old Chatham, New York.
So let’s make a Shaker bench.