"The Shaker chair is an outward expression of internal concepts: simplicity, separation from the world, utilitarianism, community, and a dedication to fine craftsmanship. It is a philosophy of life presented in tangible form." (Muller and Rieman) My chairs are interpretative reproductions of those made at the Mt. Lebanon, New York Shaker Village. I strive to equal their craftsmanship. Each chair is individually hand-made using select hardwoods.
Inspired to improve upon the mundane, Shaker woodworkers stripped the traditional New England circular-shaped pantry box of any ornamentation and developed an oval-shaped alternative. This reduced stress on the wood, and included a refined and strengthened joint by means of a swallowtail design. Along the way, Shakers turned box making into an efficient and lucrative operation in several of their communities.
Although seemingly simple to make, the Shaker box is a test of woodworking skill that relies on patience, precision and reverence. These same qualities exist today at Pete Baxter Woodworks reproducing oval boxes, in addition to carriers, chairs and other specialty pieces, honoring the same Shaker traditions.