Building a Community of Benches
Synopsis: Take a closer look at four of the utopian benches Francis Cape re-created after traveling to 12 Utopian communities and writing a book about the benches he found there.
Francis Cape’s travels in search of utopian benches took him to communities from Maine to Iowa. at each stop, he drew on the woodworking skills he developed as an apprentice in England, where he learned to measure and reproduce carved details in architecture and furniture. His new book about the bench project, We Sit Together: Utopian Benches from the Shakers to the Separatists of Zoar, contains descriptions of 12 communities and measured drawings of 18 benches.
Amana Church Bench The original of this bench was one of hundreds of benches Cape found at the Community of True Inspiration in Amana, Iowa. The Amana society, which lasted from 1855 to 1932, had been led to America from Germany by a cabinetmaker, Christian Metz.…