Last Monday we were delighted to have master craftsman Murray Marks conduct a shaker box making masterclass for our members. He creates shaker boxes in exactly the same way as the Shaker craftsmen and women have for over two hundred years; using American cherry, participants learnt how to make their very own shaker box using this master technique.
The boxes are made, without any glue, using handmade copper rivets and tiny wooden pins (toothpicks!) to fix the top and bottom of each box into the lid and base. The swallowtail closing at the front of each box, tray or basket isn’t just there for aesthetic reasons, it helps to spread the pressure at the join of the bend to prevent splitting, which could easily happen!
Shaker boxes were first made as food storage containers. As the tupperware of their day, shaker boxes are strong, light and, most importantly, insect proof. The wares quickly became a must-have item in many American kitchens, and are sold today by the Shaker community throughout the USA in stacking sets of four or more.
Tagged: , shaker boxes , making , institute of making , materials , american cherry , steaming , wood , wood work , Murray marks , shaker , london