About Shaker Workshops
Shaker furniture has been a major creative force in our decorative arts heritage because it is the one truly original American style of furniture. Its clear crisp lines and singular lightness (with no sacrifice in strength) fit equally well into both modern interiors and more traditional settings.
SHAKER WORKSHOPS FURNITURE
Shaker Workshops was founded in 1970 in Massachusetts with the purpose of reproducing original Shaker furniture and oval boxes as faithfully and as economically as possible.
Whenever possible, we use exactly the same grade and species of wood as in the originals. We buy from mills with as many as five generations of experience in selecting and seasoning lumber. Shaker Workshops furniture is produced by our own skilled craftspeople in Massachusetts. Since 1972, our pieces have also been available as do-it-yourself kits. Whether you choose the convenience of having us hand-finish your furniture or the satisfaction of hand crafting your own furniture from our kits, we know that you will be pleased with the results.
In all Shaker communities, for chair and stool seats, fabric tape was preferred over rush, wood splint, or cane because it is so functional. It does not dry out and break, nor does it pinch and snag clothing. It is stronger and longer lasting. In addition, it is more comfortable and colorful. The tape on our chairs and stools is one-inch wide, heavy-duty 100 percent cotton canvas webbing, yarn-dyed to our specifications with fade-resistance in mind, and made in the USA. While many Shaker chairs were woven in a single color, a popular technique was to weave two contrasting colors (navy and beige, for example) to achieve a checkerboard pattern.
When you order our finished furniture, you may specify your choice of stain color and, for chairs and stools, your choice of chair tape color(s). The final finish on our stained pieces is a low-luster lacquer. The final finish on our solid cherry pieces is a hand-rubbed oil finish.
When you order our furniture kits, you’ll find that each component has been precisely fashioned to assure an accurate fit before you do the final hand sanding and finishing. Only common hand tools are needed to assemble our kits. You’ll discover that the simplicity of Shaker furniture makes it not only beautiful, but also easy to assemble.
Each furniture kit contains all the materials needed, except the final finish, including sandpaper, hardware, and simple step-by-step instructions. Kits are supplied with the stain color of your choice or with Oil Finish, as noted in the item descriptions. Our chair kits are unique because the backs are preassembled—squared up, glued, and pinned in our workshops. All chair and stool kits include seating material in the color(s) of your choice. Easy-to-follow weaving instructions are included.
A SHAKER LEGACY
The Shakers came from England in 1774, and by 1850 grew from a membership of nine to approximately 6,000 in villages throughout the eastern and central United States. Today, membership is small again, but this does not take away from the lasting mark that generations of Shaker Brothers and Sisters have made on our American heritage.
No aspect of Shaker history is more important in our minds than their reputation in business. “Their upright dealing and strict honesty, individually and collectively, all persons can testify to who have ever been brought into business relations with them. No Shaker was known to make a false statement in relation to any business transaction whatever.” So wrote Charles F. Robinson in his 1893 history of the Shakers.
At Shaker Workshops, we think about this often. We are not Shakers, but we seek to live up to that high standard. We brand our furniture with pride and we guarantee it without hesitation. Please let us know if you find it to be otherwise.
SHAKER WORKSHOPS MAIL ORDER CATALOG
We publish a 48-page full-color catalog three times per year,
and we ship our products worldwide.
OUR CONTACT INFORMATION AND MAILING ADDRESS
Our factory, offices and mail order warehouse are all located in central Massachusetts.
Email: Shaker Workshops Customer Service
Telephone Toll Free: 1-800-840-9121
14 South Pleasant Street
Ashburnham, MA 01430-1649
Our retail showroom is located in eastern Massachusetts, accessible by public transportation.
Showroom Telephone: 1-781-648-8809
18 Mill Lane
Arlington, Massachusetts 02076