Go to almost any contemporary kitchen supplier and you will be offered Shaker style cabinets, so why ‘Shaker’?
Formed in England in the late 1700s, the Wardley Society was a breakaway Quaker sect which subsequently moved to America in search of religious freedom. They became known as the ‘Shaking Quakers’ for their ecstatic, trembling and trances when practising their faith. Rejecting all affectations of ornamentation, art and personal belongings, they formed a segregated, celibate community, and evolved books of rules under the leadership of Ann Lee (b. Manchester 1736 d.1784). Every aspect of their industrious daily life was devoted to God, and community life allowed them to separate themselves from the outside world to the greater extent. However, unlike the Amish, the Shakers did not reject innovation or commerce, and became known for their products beyond their tidy dwelling houses. Among many improvements to everyday articles, they can be credited with the invention of the circular saw and the wash mill – an early washing machine.
Today Shakers are perhaps best known for their furniture. Free from competition or time constraints, and in the spirit of devotion, they were able to distil the elements of chairs and cabinets to pure forms. Their beliefs decried unnecessary ornamentation, so the pieces are made to perfectly perform their tasks with strength and grace. Makers understood the nature of the beautiful wood they obtained, and this was itself all the adornment needed. Shaker designs from the 1820s still resonate with us today, and this is their enduring quality.
Since our outset at Luxmoore & Co we’ve embraced the level of craftsmanship attained in the classic period of Shaker furniture making. It’s become a common word in the kitchen industry for simple frame-and-panel doors, but for us it is about far more – it is proportion, longevity and working harmoniously with our beautiful, locally sourced English timber. Shaker values for cabinetmaking match our own, so when we use the term it is with respect for the origins.
Contact us if you would like to know more about how we bring the Shaker style to kitchens and cabinets throughout the home.