Shaker Boxes, Carriers, and Trays clickerflicker Shaker Coffee Tables and Stools


Product Tidbits

Shaker Boxes

Shaker boxes were the “Tupperware” of the 18th century. These individually hand crafted boxes, trays and carriers were made by the Shakers for over 150 years; and were used to store everything from kitchen beans to shop screws. An identifying characteristic of these boxes are the fingers. The vast majority of these boxes had fingers pointed to the right to signify the Shakers pursuit of righteousness and purity.

Over the years many uses were found for these boxes. Eliminate the lid and add a handle, and you have a carrier for carrying produce from the garden. Add a swinging handle to a lidded box and you have a lunch box. Turn the lid over on a large box and you have a serving tray. All of these uses and designs were adapted and produced by the Shakers.

The first economical boxes were made using pine and maple woods. The vast majority of these boxes never had finishes applied. And if outside finishes were applied, the inside of the boxes were not finished; so as to not contaminate any foods that might be stored in them. Often finishes were applied with the box lid on; creating an unfinished band around the top of the box. Typically outside finishes were varnishes and milk paints. Few boxes were ever signed and those that were are now worth a modest fortune.

These reproductions are made using the same techniques and materials that were used a hundred years ago. But while the box making is the same, the finishing of the box has changed. Today’s consumer would believe a box to be incomplete if the inside were not also finished, but in most case we use only a light coat of carnuba wax. In addition, finishing techniques are use to create an old, antique appearance to the boxes. With the identical materials available to today’s craftsman as were available to the Shakers, it is possible to create new boxes that would be difficult to discern from an antique box. So most craftsmen today will sign or mark their work.

Lacewood

Many or our Shaker products will have tops or bottoms of quarter sawn sycamore.   And I may refer to this wood as Lacewood; to which it may rightfully be called.   Most wood crafters are familiar with the pinkish tone and distinctive eyes of Austrian Lacewood (Grevillia robusta).   The same distinctive eyes can be found in Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), while the wood color is white.   Our sycamore comes from an East Tennessee giant that was close to ten feet in diameter.

 

 
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