Building A Shaker Berry Box provides students with a beautiful, classic, woodworking project. These little, wooden baskets were used by the shakers to forage for forest foods such as wild berries, and for harvesting in the fields. A great project for the beginning woodworker to develop more advanced skills, its unique details also provide challenges for more advanced woodworkers. In this class we’ll discuss wood selection, making box joints on the table saw, bending wood, and a traditional beeswax finish.
The Shakers made these by the hundreds and this example is based on a reproduction done by Christian Becksvoort in New Gloucester, ME. Mr Becksvoort himself based it on examples from the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community in Sabbathday Lake, ME.
Building a Shaker Berry Box happens June 13, 10-5pm, at our workshop located at 149 Hurricane Road, Keene NH. $100 includes all tools and materials for one Shaker Berry Box.
This instructor for this course, David E. Matuszek, started woodworking before he could tie his own shoes, though to be honest he couldn’t tie his shoes until he was seven. His father, who was trained in furniture and cabinet making, would have him catch boards coming off the table saw or have him straighten nails that came out of reclaimed lumber. He was also lucky that his father had a set of 19th century housewright tools and encouraged him to try and make his own projects using hand tools. In his teen years David attended William J Dean Technical High School in Holyoke, MA and specialized in precision manufacturing, and worked as a Tool Maker while in college, ultimately earning a degree in History from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
This diverse background comes together to form his love of all things Shaker. From his 20’s onward David has focused mainly on building Shaker style furniture. He has expanded from that 19th century set of hand tools into a better table saw, jointer, and planer without loosing his basic hand tool skills. Currently he is building a new workshop at his new home; Echo Farm in Lyndeborough, NH where he lives with his wife and daughter. In addition to woodworking David’s other interest include photography, small scale farming, home brewing, and spending time in the outdoors.