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The Amish Tradition of Handcrafted Furniture

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The Amish Furniture Making Tradition

Author: Sarika Kabra

To understand and appreciate the tradition of Amish handcrafted furniture, one first has to understand the Amish traditions, their beliefs and their way of life. It is this that makes it possible for us as consumers to enjoy high quality Amish furniture which is both stylish with classic lines which never go out of fashion and durable so that it lasts literally for generations.

The Amish movement takes its name from Jakob Amman, a Swiss Brethren leader and they have their communities predominantly in the Pennsylvania region. The Amish have certain practices and beliefs called Demut and Gelassenheit which preclude self promotion, which is why, Amish furniture is not sold directly by the Amish on the many online sites that you may see; rather it is sold thru a retailer or a middleman.

Amish made furniture also places very little reliance on automated methods of furniture making or labor saving devices. All the things that may cultivate personal vanity, spark competition among the members of the community or reduce interdependence among members are generally eschewed.

The Amish also tend to minimize contact with the general mainstream populace and they prefer to work at home, which is why their workshops typically have technologically unadvanced or low tech tools and machinery. Also because of their beliefs that keep them away from advanced technology the Amish are generally engaged in arts and crafts and ply simple trades such as these.

Further Amish handcrafted furniture is characteristic for the fact that is made the good old fashioned way and is devoid of the assembly line sameness that characterizes other generic furniture. The Amish value manual labor and thrift and regard these as great virtues. The use of labor saving devices is generally frowned upon and the Amish strive to live in harmony with nature living close to and living off the bounty of the earth. The society is predominantly agrarian and rural.

In fact because of their old fashioned way of making furniture, Amish furniture can easily pass off as heirlooms or pieces of valuable antique furniture. While it is true that Amish handcrafted furniture is made using hand tools like block planes, hand drills, buck saws etc, tools such as planers, drill presses, table saws and a few other kinds of equipment are also used.

However, the older order Amish eschew even these few aids and make furniture in the really old fashioned way that takes a long time to make. However, since furniture made only with hand tools takes such a long time to make, it is rarely to be found in shops.

Amish oak furniture is famous because the Amish have a great love for natural wood, typically hard wood which can be used to make really long lasting furniture. So this use of natural (as opposed to particle board or osb) wood is also something that sets the Amish furniture making tradition apart from commonly available, modern furniture.

Where furniture is concerned, quality can often be sacrificed for the sake of speed or lowering costs which may turn out to be expensive in the long run. Amish made furniture is long lasting enough to pay for itself in the long run!

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The author protects her Amish dining room table with a table pad. Make sure you buy original Amish Furniture from authorized dealers.

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