Inside the Shaker Workshop
Shaker furniture never goes out of style. That’s because the Shakers’ dedication to simple, clean lines, utility, and good proportion allowed them to create furniture with enduring beauty. The understated elegance of their work evokes our collective memory of a simpler time, when life moved more slowly, people were less cynical, and craftsmen built furniture one piece at a time in a quiet shop. But that’s just nostalgia, or a longing to simplify our own lives. The Shakers themselves, had no qualms about adopting new technology, especially in the woodshop.
The woodshop at Hancock Shaker Village is a great example of how quickly the Shakers adapted to changing technology in the woodworking industry. From the state-of-the-art water turbine that powered the machines to the machines themselves, when it came time to add a tool to the shop, the Shakers always obtained the latest and greatest. Despite all the engineering marvels on display at Hancock Shaker Village however, a trip to the workshop still serves as a great reminder that what matters is what you make, and not the tools used to make it.