It may come to your surprise that the history of Shakers came from rather dark and very difficult times of colonisation in England, where industries were brought to life literally from dust. The year 1774 become momentous as one charismatic woman with Gods’ visions, known by name Ann Lee changed history, with her small group of Christian followers called ‘The Believers’ mocked by others as “The Shakers’. Constantly under stoning and whipping attacks by their opponents, Ann Lee lead her followers from England to America.
Starting as inexperienced farmers in the New World, ‘The Shakers’ had to adapt. Their first house was designed and built as soon as 5 years after their arrival in 1779. Their deep religious communities and hard labour working routines started creating needs for practical tools and living designs. They lived in mutual respect between man and women, equal status between each community and family member, and strict routine (although Sunday was left free for weekly dance events and relaxation).
This all has reflected within the designs of Shaker style. For example, to be equal in every aspect of their life, they have implemented strong symmetry in their designs. To create practical spaces for their new way of farming life for all community members to share, they always designed endless amount of tiny draws for seeds and herbs. Or to enjoy very rewarding social events for their hard labour to its maximum, they needed more space within their small houses, and therefore created the iconic wooden pegs to hang all chairs and mugs that could stand in their way of having fun.
Shaker is about deep family bond and balanced environment. The kitchen was genuine heart of every home. People gathered in the kitchen area not just to eat, but also to worship and enjoy life.
We are dedicated to the Shaker designs because even the small details such as towel rack and cutting board, to more significant “utility designs” such as wooden pegs, butchers box or a dough bin to name a few, and of course even the individual furniture pieces – they all have one in common. The symbiotic bond between practicality, design and people.