David Coleman works in his Shady Oak Workshop in Kettering, Ohio as a Shaker oval box maker and cabinet maker. He specializes in the "Shaker" style using the same material and construction techniques of Shaker craftsman from over a hundred years ago.
Coleman belongs to Western Ohio Woodworkers (W.O.W), and the Western Shaker Study Group. He also performs box-making demonstrations and has assisted John Wilson from Charlotte, Michigan with box-making events in Ohio, Indiana, and at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village in Kentucky.
Coleman's boxes are for sale at the museum gift shops located in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, South Union, Kentucky, The Spirit Tree Shaker Heights, Ohio, The Shaker Messenger in Holland, Michigan, Enfield Shaker Museum in Enfield New Hampshire and Hancock Shaker Village in Pitsfield, Massachusetts. Early American Life Magazine has selected Coleman for their Directory of 200 Traditional American Craftsman for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Coleman's boxes are accurately reproduced in the Shaker size, material, and manufacturing process. The finish is hand-rubbed varnish and needs no special care. His inspiration comes from the Shaker box makers who produced oval boxes and carriers from 1790 to the present at Sabathday Lake, Maine. Shaker boxes were the most successful of all Shaker Craft industries and have become emblematic of this simple, communal, utopian religious order that still survives today at the Sabbathday Lake Community in Maine.
All Boxes and Carriers are made in the traditional Shaker style and manufacturing process with select hard woods (cherry and maple). Request information on walnut availability. They are soaked in hot water and secured with copper tacks to prevent staining. Tops and bottoms are then fit by hand to each band and secured with copper shoe pegs. A hand rubbed varnish is then applied.
Maple boxes and carriers are made exclusively with pine tops and bottoms. Cherry boxes are made with pine tops and bottoms, or cherry tops and pine bottoms. Cherry carriers have cherry bottoms. Carrier handles are the same wood as the side band. Painted boxes are also available in authenic Shaker colors.
The entry deadline for the 2023 Directory of
Traditional American Crafts has passed. We are now processing entries and submitting
them to our jurors. We will contract entrants after the jurors have made ther decisions.