KeimKraft Shaker and Craftsman Furniture

 

Shaker Furniture

     Elegant in simplicity, functional and durable, Shaker is a timeless style at home in both traditional and contemporary settings.  Like the fine antiques produced more than a century ago by diligent Shaker craftsmen, our classic designs are handcrafted one at a time in solid oak, maple or cherry to last a lifetime.  Shaker style today is often associated with Amish craftsmen.

     In general, our pieces are solid hardwood throughout. Matching veneer core plywood is used for drawer bottoms and cabinet backs only when appropriate.  Lumber for each piece is hand selected by master craftsmen for color and figure.  Each piece is the same wood species throughout - we don't use cheaper materials on the inside. For instance, a cherry piece will be all cherry. Door, side, and top panels are matched for even color and “best fit” figure.

 

 

Mission, Arts and Crafts, and Craftsman Furniture

 

Here are a few examples of Arts and Crafts furniture style.  These examples do not begin reach the limits of the design and many types of furniture available.

 

They do; however, provide a quick insight as t o the easy to identify Craftsman style.

Today there is a passionate resurgence in the popularity of these furniture styles.  They are simple, functional, yet stylish.   Most importantly when built correctly using quality hardwood, this furniture is ageless and can be passed down through generations.  Furniture can be sized to “fit” individual homes.  This furniture is perfect any home, including large modern homes where standard selections found in neighborhood furniture stores are not as complimentary. 

 

In the early years of the 20th Century, Americans sought a simpler more “honest” approach to furnish their homes.  Primarily in reaction to the frivolous, overly ornate character of Victorian furnishings, they found it in the rather austere, rectilinear furniture and the decorative accessories of the Mission style.  A number of furniture companies, such as Come-Packt Furniture Company of Ann Arbor and Toledo sprang up in the pre-World War I era to meet these needs.  Mainly available by mail- order , there were hundreds of items, including beds, highboys, rockers, armchairs, kitchen cabinets, dressing tables, and much more.  Often it was built “knocked-down” so it could be easily shipped at reduce freight costs.

 

Mission was the first of a variety of furniture styles that became known as Craftsman, Quaint, and the American Arts and Craft furniture.  It was first introduced to America by Gustav Stickley. In 1898 and has evolved through several decades into a variety of constructs which use the basic design elements of the original Arts and Crafts movement which began in England in the early 1900’s based on the inspiration of two earlier Englishmen; William Morris and his mentor John Ruskin.  KeimKraft makes Stickley reproductions by special order.

 

Structurally, these styles are known for their simplicity and “truth in building” design.  It is characterized by simple lines, strong and sturdy construction, often with exposed tennons which demonstrated the skill of the craftsmen who made them.  Most of this furniture was built of quarter-sawn white oak (a method of milling lumber to reduce cupping and warping of the furniture over time).  Other hardwoods, such as red oak, walnut, maple, and cherry were used, but most of the early period items were made with the preferred white oak.  In later years, mostly the decades of the ‘20s and ‘30s, variations in design became more prevalent and new lines of similar furniture appeared that still had the basic design of the Arts and Crafts movement.