Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shaker Simplicity

Hi all--

This is my attempt at research blog entry #1. Hopefully this is more or less how it ought to be done.....

I have to admit to not having been familiar with most of the names on the list we had to start out with, so my first step was to go online and look at whole bunch of images to help me figure out who and/or what I was drawn to. Much of the work was too fancy and frilly, or too modern looking, or too sculptural to appeal to me. I like my furniture and woodwork in general to be sturdy, functional, and simple. So naturally I gravitated toward the Shaker furniture.

The lovely bare-bones designs of Shaker style furniture were based in religious belief. I came across phrases such as "God is in the details", "beauty rests in utility", and "simplicity is the embodiment of purity and unity"-- tenants of the Shaker religion attributed to Mother Ann Lee that can be clearly seen reflected in Shaker craft. This write-up here gave a nice overview, as did this one from furniture This piece from got a bit more technical and led me to an intriguing look at oil finishes but what I really want to do now is to go get a few actual paper books to read on the subject. My interest is piqued....

I tried to upload the picture down here but I've no idea how to use this blog site and it put them at the top and I really don't know why or how to move them. But these are from an antique dealer's site, supposed to be the genuine, old article (some of the new stuff in the same general style is a bit prettier...). Note the dovetail joints, which are apparently a hallmark of Shaker construction.

Right. That's all. Thanks for reading,

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