On a recent trip to Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts, we sat in on Steve Grasselli's workshop on the making of those oval Shaker storage boxes. The boxes are beautiful, yes, but they were once used in quite a utilitarian way: for food storage. The boxes are sized with such precision that the lid and box create a suction when closed...
are genarally made of maple or cherry because the woods are stable and won't tend to expand/shrink. The oval shape is also determined by function: it is more dimensionally stable than, say, a round box. For more on handmade Shaker boxes made locally in Massachusetts, or to even take a class, check out Steve Grasselli
. (Photo of Hancock Shaker Village by halmorgan via Flickr.)