Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shaker Craftsmanship Classes

In partnership with the Northeastern Woodworker's Association, the Shaker Heritage Society is hosting two great classes this spring.

Shaker Oval Box Making
April 27 & 28, 2010
The most recognized artifact of Shaker life is the classic oval box. Its simplicity of form, economy of materials and utility of function immediately says "Shaker" to even the most casual of observers. No craftsman today embodies box making in the Shaker tradition more than John Wilson. John's unique blend as a woodworker, teacher and social anthropologist has led to his being referred to as the “Johnny Appleseed of Shaker Boxes.” He frequently writes for Popular Woodworking and Fine Woodworking magazines and travels the country presenting workshops on Shaker Boxes. His business “The Home Shop” in Charlotte, Michigan offers classes on box making and other traditional woodcrafts and is the primary supplier of materials to box makers worldwide.

This class marks the continuation of a co-operative program between NWA and the Shaker Heritage Society. All sessions will be held in the 1848 Shaker Meeting House. The workshop gives participants hands-on experience in making a nesting set of five oval boxes in cherry. Fee includes all materials, use of tools and an instructional booklet. The class is intended for both new and experienced woodworkers. John will also provide background commentary on Shaker life and craftsmanship.

Making Shaker Boxes at the first Shaker settlement in what could be more inspiring than that? Don't miss this special opportunity to experience this time honored craft first hand and bring the spirit of the Shakers to life in this historic setting.

Build a Spoke Shave
April 28 & 29, 2010

While the Shakers are best known for their furniture production they were also prodigious makers of tools. One of the basic tools in the woodshop was, and continues to be, the spoke shave. As the name implies, spoke shaves are used to make wheel spokes. Yet this versatile tool can also be used to make chair spindles, broom handles or anything else with a cylindrical handle or curved surface.

This class will take participants through all of the steps in making a shave- shaping the wooden parts, cutting out the metal parts, tempering, sharpening, mounting and tuning and finally to making shavings. You will leave with a completed spoke shave that will become an essential tool in your home workshop.


Classes are $125 each or $225 for both.
For more information or to register for these classes please send an e-mail to or call 518-371-9145

This is a cooperative program between Northeastern Woodworkers Association and the Shaker Heritage Society.
All sessions will be held at the 1848 Shaker Meeting House in Albany, New York.