The history of Shaker Boxes is as rich and textured as the wood used to create them. Originally constructed by Shaker communities living in 18th century America, the boxes are evidence of a time when quality and function were synonymous.
Our Shaker boxes are made with the same care and craftsmanship that the Shakers used. As a quality Shaker Box craftsman, Brent Rourke has mastered the technique of shaping combinations of various hardwoods into beautiful and functional Shaker oval boxes and carriers.
To ensure the finest quality, each piece passes through the craftsman's hands a total of seventeen times. The first time is when Brent Rourke hand selects the wood for the boxes and carriers. He only picks the finest birds-eye maple, walnut or cherry - continuing the attention to detail that the Shakers were famous for.
The wood is then cut to size and the "fingers" are shaped. The wooden bands that will form the walls are bathed in hot water until they are pliable enough to mold.
Once bent, they are tacked with copper tacks produced on century-old machinery. Then, after hours of drying, they are individually fitted with covers and bases that are pegged in place with tiny dowels.
All box surfaces are smoothed and sanded six times in preparation for finish coats of lacquer. Then, only after passing Brent Rourke's exacting demands for quality, are the Shaker Boxes and Carriers shipped to the retailer.
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Often in the midst of a religious march, all stop, and with all their might set to stamping with both feet. And it is no uncommon thing for many of the worshipping assembly to crow like a parcel of young chanticleers, while others imitate the barking of dogs; and many of the young women set to whirling round and round—while the old men shake and clap their hands; the whole making a scene of noise and confusion, which can be better imagined than described. The elders seriously told me that these things were the outward manifestations of the spirit of God. From "A Lowell Mill Worker Visits the Shakers"