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”

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Bentwood handle and pierced handle trays in black walnut

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Swing handle basket in black walnut with sycamore lid

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Swing handle basket in black walnut with figured oak lid

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Swing handle basket in black walnut, with figured oak lid

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Fixed handle basket with drop in pierced handle tray

Presentation box with oak leaf in marquetry

Presentation box with oak leaf in marquetry

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Fixed handle basket, with drop in bentwood handle tray, in European oak

 

 

 

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Swing handle basket in black walnut, with rosewood lid

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Sawing marquetry leaves for box lids

Presentation box with maple leaf in marquetry

Presentation box with maple leaf in marquetry

Tray with bentwood handle, in oak

Tray with bentwood handle, in oak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fixed handle basket, with drop in box, in oak

Fixed handle basket with drop in box, in European oak

 

Presentation box in North American cherry and oak

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

Presentation box in North American cherry and oak

 

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Boxes, sizes 1 to 5

NEW PRODUCT, the fruit boat, HMCS Five-A-Day. The fruit boat is an elegant dining table accessory for fruit or bread. It is made to my own design, with the inspiration coming from the small dory boats that the fishermen of the east coasts of Canada, and New England, rowed out to sea in. I have made the fruit boat using North American cherry for the three bentwood bands that make the structure. Bending is achieved by making the wood pliable, soaking it in very hot water, and then bending it around a former. Copper rivets hold the bands together. A food safe oil finish has been applied to the wood.


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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