Vol.17 - Shaker Furniture
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GPU I D E WORKSHO FINISHES SHAKER
ANDPEGS PULLS SHAKER
FINISH A SHAKER REPTICATING of colors, painted in a variety theirfurniture TheShakers i n c l u d i nrge d ,o r a n g ey ,e l l o wb,l u e a, n db r o w nV. t r t u a lal yl l withthin paintsin a washthat werecoated of thesepieces grainto showthrough. To replicate this allowed thewood's a effect,youcanusemilkpaintorlatexpaint.Milkpaintsleave oncethesurface oiled,orwaxed flatfinishthatcanbestained, thatis asa powder milkpaintis available is dry.Although yourownby blending the addedto water,youcanprepare shownin thechartbelow. ingredients Totone withvarntsh. weref inished SomeShaker Dieces furnishowy-Shaker downa finishthatwastooglossy-and Theoilwithpumice. rubbeddownthesurfaces turemakers presented a deep,richf inish willimpart below recipe varnish forthe withouttoomuchgloss,andoffergoodprotection witha rag,let it sit applythesolution wood.Forbestresults, with thenruboff theexcess for a fewminutes, onthesurface a cleanrag.Allow24 hoursforthecoatto cure,sandlightly, anyfinComplete building upthefinrshin layers. andrepeat, pastewax. ishwitha coatof good-qualiiy
PEGS COMM()N SHAKER
ttmr'Th rV-\rSlel \lft-'f-l tl-*
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(lIT.VARNISH FINISH Wood . 1 p a r tl i n s e e o d r t u n go i l o 2 naric satin varnish
. 3 partssteam-distilled turpentine MILKPAINT Basicformula(yieldsabout1 quart): . 1 r / 2c u p ss k i mm i l k . 1 o z .s l a k e dl i m e o 8 o z .p l a s t eor f P a r i so r c a l c i u mc a r b o n a t e Procedure 'I . S p r i n k l teh e l i m ei n t ot h e m i l ka n dm i xf o r 3 m i n u t e s . S t i ri n t h e p ' a s t e ' oPf a r i s . 2 . A d dc o i o r i n gs,u c ha s a r t i s t ' sp r g m e n tosr e a r t hp i g m e n t s o n a s c r a pp l e c e u s e df o r c o o r i n gc e m e n tt;e s tt h e s o l u i i o n a n dl e t i t d r y , 3 . L e tt h e o a i n ts r tf o r t h o u r ,t h e nb r u s hi t o n , frequently. stirring h r s h e l l a tco p r o t e ctth e f i n s h , 4 . A d da t h i n a y e ro f v a r n t s o PAINT LATEX Procedure '| c o l o rt o s e a lt h e w o o d . A p p l ya t h i n f i r s tc o a ti n t h e d e s i r e d a n d l e td r y . i ool. w i t hv e r yf i n es t e e w 2 . R u bt h e s u r f a c e 3 . A p p l ya n o t h etrh i n c o a to f p a i n ta n dr u bw i t hv e r y f i n es t e e w l ool. shellac. 4 . A d da l i g h tc o a to f o r a n g e
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THE ART OF WOODWORKING
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TIME-LIFE BOOKS ALEXANDRIA. VIRGINIA ST.REMYPRESS MONTREAL. NEWYORK
THE ART OF WOODWORKING was produced by ST.REMYPRESS PUBLISHER KennethWinchester PRES/DENT PierreLdveill6 SeriesEditor SeriesArt Director SeniorEditor Editor Art Directors Designers Picture Editor Writers ContributingWriter Cont r ibuting Illu strators Administrator ProductionManager Coordinator SystemCoordinator Photographer Indexer
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THECONSUXIANTS Ian Ingersoll owns a cabinetmakingshop in WestCornwall, Connecticut,that specializesin Shakerfurniture. GilesMiller-Mead taught advancedcabinetmakingat Montreal technicalschoolsfor more than ten years.A nativeof New Zealand,he hasworked asa restorerof antiquefurniture. ShakerFurniture. p. cm.- (The art of woodworking) Includesindex. ISBN0-8094-9s33-3 1. Furniture making-Amateurs' manuals. 2. Furniture,Shaker-Amateurs' manuals. I. Time-Life Books. IL Series. TTl95.S481995 749.213'08'8288-dc20 95-1022 cIP For information about any Time-Life book, pleasecall l-800-621-7026,or write: ReaderInformation Time-Life CustomerService P.O.Box C-32068 Richmond,Virginia 2326r-2068 @ 1995Time-LifeBooksInc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproducedin any form or by any electronicor mechanicalmeans,including information storageand retrievaldevicesor systems,without prior written permissionfrom the publisher,exceptthat brief passages may be quoted for reviews. First printing. Printed in U.S.A. Publishedsimultaneouslyin Canada. TIME-LIFE is a trademarkof Time WarnerInc. U.S.A. R 1 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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CONTENTS 6 INTRODUCTION L2 SHAKERDESIGN 1 8 A galleryof Shakerfurniture 24 26 34 38 44 48
CHAIRS Enfield sidechair Rushseat Shakerrocking chair Thpeseat Meetinghousebench
56 58 68 78
TABTES Tiestletable Drop-leaftable Candlestand
86 88 90 94 97 104 106
PIE SAFE Anatomy of a pie safe Making the caseworkframes Raisingthe panels Assemblingthe safe Shelving Tin-paneldoors
1T6 118 129 135 138
SHAKERCTASSICS Wall clock Stepstool Shakerboxes Pegboard
140 GTOSSARY 142 INDEX 144 ACKNOWTEDGMENTS
REDEFINING SHAKERSTYLE enoughto liveattheCanterbury ShakerVillage in NewHampshire f *ur fortunate L for 14years, from 1972to 1986. My parents rantheVillageMuseum andwewere givenhousingin theChildren's House, builtin 1810.Ihadtheprivilege of knowing seven Shaker Sisters andlistened to theirbeliefs andmemories of theolddays. While livingthere,lfoundmyselfexploring andstudying thearchitectural elements of the buildings, aswellasthefurniturein thecollections. Whilelivingin theseuniquesurroundings, I hadtheexceptional opportunityof apprenticing with anOldWorldcabinetmaker fromMadrid,Alejandro delaCruz. His teachings emphasized tradition,classicism, andintegrityin work,design, and living.Thisapprenticeship providedmewith a directionandfocusfor studying Shaker andotherclassic designs. At thesametime,it allowed meto constructively criticizesomeoldpieces andto rebuildor redesign themby usingbetterconstruction methods, whilestillretaining theiroriginalcharmandattractiveness. Likethearchitectural elements of antiquirythebeautyandtruthof Shaker design aremostevidentin basicforms.Theoveralllines,proportions, andstance canbe seenin a simplepieceof furniturelikethecandlestandshownin thephotoatright. Details, if theyaredonewell,adda furtherdimension andwill notobscure or clutterthegeneral form. I donotbelieve thattheShakers setoutto develop theirowndesigns; rather, their beliefsreshaped formswith whichtheywerealready familiar.Shaker designcanbe seenasa stripped-down Federal style,withemphasis onHepplewhite andSheraton elements. Federal stylewasconcurrent with thebeginning andthedevelopment of theShaker religious movement. Thekeycabinetmakers of eachShaker villagewere alsofreeto develop theuniqueflavorof eachcommunity's workwhiletakingdirection fromtheleadcommunityof MountLebanon, NewYork. Whilea gooddealof Shaker designcharmliesin itsnaivet6, evenmoredepends on thecabinetmaker's complete masteryof theform.Creatingfurnituredesigns requires athoroughunderstanding process, ofthedesign andbeingableto "getinto theheads" of theoldmasters to understand whycertaindesign decisions weremade. It alsorequires a goodunderstanding of furnitureconstruction usingpastandpresenttechniques. It isimportantnotjustto acknowledge apieceasa masterpiece and copyit, butto findout wltyitisamasterpiece, byaskingmanyquestions aboutit. The answers will provideyourbuildingblocksfor creating yourowndesigns in anysryle.
DavidLambwasresidentcabinetmaker at CanterburyShaker Village,NewHampshire,between1979and 1986.He now buildsShaker-inspired furniture at hisshopin Canterbury.
ELEGANT SHAKERBOX in apatternbookonShaker woodenware byEjnerHandberg boxes T mu sawShaker Even Community College. L n 1977whenI wasteaching furnituremakingatLansing ovalcontainers, craftedfromcherryin gradaslinedrawings, thesesimple,elegant appeal, butto havethemnest uatedsizes, wereintriguing.All boxesholduniversal insideeachotherappeals to thechildin allof us. for 10years, in residential construction Up to thispoint,I hadbeena carpenter teaching socialanthropology. LittledidI knowwhen andhadspentanotherdecade in Shaker thattheywouldbecome theperI beganto followmycuriositF ovalboxes othercomfectavenue for expressing thosethreeskills-workingin wood,interpreting Butthatis exactly whathashappened to me munities'lifeandwork,andteaching. overthelast15years. Byspecializing in Shaker ovalboxes, I wasfortunateto takeadvantage of three design, thepopularityof woodworking asa trends:a growingawareness of Shaker Thiscombination opened hobby,andaninterestin instructionin leisureactivities. By1986I wasteaching 30workshops thedoorsfor freelance box-making seminars. andEngland. Theparticiayearin manypartsof thecountry,aswellasin Canada pantsmakea nestof fiveboxes. It is fulfillingto beableto masterthetechnique of it in makingfive.In thel2yearcsincethe makingabox,andevenmoresoto perfect firstboxclass, I havetaughtmorethan4,000peoplethistraditionalcraft. bringingthe My memoryof firstattempting to buildthemisof bandsbreaking, projectto an abruptend.It takesmorethanlinedrawings to master technique. VisitingShaker sitesin NewEngland,Irecalla rareopportunityto watchboxmakHegavemeasample er|erryGrantatHancock ShakerVillage. of thetinycoppertacls thatarethehallmarkof theboxlap.These areasscarce ashen'steeth,astheexpresAt *re time,CrossNailCompany wastheoneremaining tackmanufacturer, siongoes. order.It tooka minimumof 50poundsto order, andmadethemonlyon special thatwasanincredible supply. Wth 12taclsneedandwithover750taclato theounce, a lifetimeof boxmaking. edto makea box,it alsorepresented mylifeandsupplying Today, Shaker boxes havebecome theboxtradewithqualmoreof mytimethaneithermakingboxesor teaching. ity materials nowoccupies hasleftmewiththeconMorethanjustbeinggoodbusiness, makingShaker boxes eachof usmustaccept. victionthatpassing on our skillsisa responsibility at Purduebefore turning JohnWilsontaughtsocialanthropology his attentionto teachingShakerboxmakingfull time in 1983. Hisseminarshavebeenheldat theSmithsonian, in Shakervillages throughoutAmerica,and in England.He ownsand operates The HomeShopon EastBroadwayHighrq,in Charlotte,Michigan.
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A SHAKERLIFE hen I waslittle and shareda room with my sisterI yearnedto havea room of my own.I was19whenthat dreamcametrue,and oh, what a room it
was,in anearlyl9th-CenturyShaker buildingin Canterbury, NewHampshire. My roomwasa classic Shaker interior,with built-incupboards anddrawers, a pegrailaroundthewalls,andrareslidingshutters. Everything overhead andunderfootwastheworkof Shaker Brothers whohadusedlocalpine,maple,andbirchand a combination of handtoolsandwater-powered machinery in anefficientand sophisticated system of man-made pondsandmillsbehindthevillage. Aftera centuryandahalfof continual use,thepegswerefirm in theirsockets. Thedrawers slid smoothly with aslighttugonthesinglecenter pull.Thewholeeffectwasoneof spaciousness, airiness, andlightness. Thisroomwasworththewait. BythetimeI arrivedat Canterbury in 1972asa summerguidein themuseum, theshakers9cletyhadlongsinceflourishedandfaded.Thecanterburyshakers wereestablished in 1792astheseventh of whatbecame 19principalsettlements in America. when I came,thehalf-dozen shakers wholivedthere- all in their70s, (Theotherwas 80s,and90s-wereoneof thelasttwoShaker familiesin existence. sabbathdayLake in Maine.)Thesisters weredelightful-energetic, humorous, and unstintinglykind.TherewerenoBrothers atCanterbury. Thelastonehaddiedin the 1930s andthewomenjokedthattheyhad"workedthosepoormento death." while woodworking hadpassed into historywith thelastof theBrothers, the sisters heldtheworkof the"oldshakers" in highregard. A lifetimeof usingShaker desks, tables, workcounters, chairs, andcupboards hadgiventhemahands-on appreciationof the-qualities thathaveearned Shaker designrespect worldwide: strength, lightness, anda simplerightness of proportion. Ergonomic? Youbet.we heldour breathwhenever thefragilebut unstoppable Eldress wentup anddownthestairs with herbadkneeandcane,but thebreadthof thesteps, thegentlerise,andthe sturdy,elegant handrailkeptheruprightandsafe. "Hands to workandheartsto God,"a homilyof Shaker founderMotherAnn Lee,wasa roadmapfor goodlife.My Shaker friendsaregonenow,buttheirwork endures astestimony to thebeautyandwisdomof thatsimplemessage.
lune SprigghasbeenstudyingtheShakers for mostof her life,and shewasCuratorof Collections at HancockShaker Villagebetyveen 1979and 1994.Her latestbookwithphotographerPaulRocheleau, ShakerBurlt,ispublishedby MonacelliPress. Shelivesin Pittsfield,Massachusetts.
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SffiDESIGN todayas arerecognized T h. Shakers mostinteresting I oneof America's Thanks religious societies. communal cropofbooks,articles, to thevigorous thathavesproutedup andexhibitions celebrasincetheShakers' bicentennial mostpeople thinkof them tionin 1974,
rearlegs With its backward-Ieaning andcurvedsla*,theEnfleldsidechair shownat left wasbuiltfor simplicity and comfort.Therushseatson eaily Shakerchairslikethisonegradually gaveway to canvastapeseating.
firstandforemost asoroducers of simpleandwell-made furniture.Butin their hevdav from 1825to 1845,thevwere beiteri