BEREA, KY. – Experience Shaker Craftsmanship at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea on Saturday, April 30, when woodworker David Kramer, principle Shaker oval box maker for Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, will be creating his Shaker boxes from 10:30 am – 3:30 pm at the Center.
David Kramer has built many things in his life. Trained as an engineer with a degree from MIT, Kramer designed and built missile systems for the electronics industry and then designed and built off-shore platforms for the oil industry. Today he works at his own creative industry - building exact reproductions of Shaker Oval boxes true to the ones originally made at Pleasant Hill.
Kramer builds his boxes out of Cherry, Maple and Walnut veneer and he uses dyes to color his boxes, matching the original bright Shaker colors. The Shakers at Pleasant Hill had a silkmaking industry and made bright dyes to color the silk fabrics they produced and sold. These same dyes were used to color their oval boxes which allowed the natural grain beauty of the wood to show through. Pleasant Hill was the only Shaker village that finished their oval boxes on the inside – and Kramer does this as well.
While the Shakers at Pleasant Hill only made their boxes for use within the village and for shipping seeds and medicinal herbs, Kramer sells all the boxes he can make, at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea and at Shakertown at Pleasant Hill. On April 30, he will form and nail together these delicate but sturdy and beautiful boxes for visitors to see and ask questions about his craft and methods – similar to those Shaker craftsmen of the past.
The Kentucky Artisan Center is located just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The Center’s exhibits, shopping, and travel information areas are all open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the café from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. The Center currently features works by more than 520 artisans from all across the Commonwealth. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the Center’s web site at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Commerce Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.