Shaker items

Simple Gifts

The Shakers were a Christian religious sect from England, who settled in North Eastern USA in 1774. The guiding Shaker principles of utility, humbleness, honesty, and simplicity, using locally available materials, had a profound effect on their crafts and design, on their homes, furniture, domestic items and lifestyle. Their gentle forms and elegance fit well in any interior, a calming influence and simple gift to us in our busy and complex lives.

I have made these boxes, trays and baskets using European and North American hardwoods; the sides are in solid wood, thinned down to make tight bends possible; the lid and bottom panels are veneered plywood, for greater durability. The wood is made pliable by soaking it in very hot water, and then bending it around a template. Copper tacks clinch the bands together, no glue. After insertion of the top and bottom panels, and smoothing of the wood, I finish the surfaces with lacquer, then with a clear, hard wax. Wood is an incredibly durable material, and with care these Shaker-inspired items could become a family heirloom, passed down the generations.

The Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts”


Black walnut tray with North American cherry bentwood handle.

Black walnut pierced handle tray.

Fixed handle basket with drop in pierced handle tray.

Black walnut fixed handle basket, with black walnut drop in bentwood handle tray.

Fixed hanndle basket with shallow tray.

Trays simply lift out.

Swing handle basket, in North American cherry, with figured oak lid.

Detail of figured oak lid.



Presentation box in oak, with marquetry oak leaf.

Presentation box with maple leaf in marquetry.


European oak tray with black walnut bentwood handle.

Presentation box in European oak, with burr elm lid.



No. 5 size Shaker box in black walnut with masur birch lid



Boxes, sizes 1 to 5

Fruit boat in North American cherry.

Fruit boat HMCS Five-A-Day, in North American cherry

Supplied for Dansel Gallery, Dorset, the fruit boat in the foreground is made of European oak. The one in the background is made of black walnut.

The price varies according to which timber species are used, please contact me for further details about product prices. The box sizes are given in millimetres, and in this order: length x width x depth. The tray and basket depth refers to the main body of the item, and does not include the height of the handle.

Every box, tray and basket I make gets my mark stamped on it:

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