Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hancock Shaker Village Photo Safari

The pictures in this post were taken several years ago, during a trip back East. I recently found them again, buried in the computer image files. Strangely, they were already edited and organized for posting to the blog, but apparently I never got around to it. At least, I don't think so...

Shaker furniture gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so, but the environment where the furniture was created is also important. With that in mind, here's a series of photographs I took during a visit to Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I was trying to capture the peace, beauty and sense of simple perfection that, to me, so typifies Shaker work.

See if you can spot the not so secret theme that runs through these images...

Did you spot the theme? That's right! There's a pig in every picture!

Seriously, I love multi-light windows and the look and feel of natural lighting. In this regard, and others too, Hancock is a paradise.

Oh, and I've got to get one of those hand-cranked thickness planers! But no thanks to the scary table saw...


  1. Great pictures Dan. Thanks for posting them. I visited there about 20 years ago. This post makes me want to go back.


  2. Those are incredible, Dan! Thanks for sharing them!!!

  3. thanks for the pictures Dan. I've never seen that hand crank thickness planer before. Anyway, I've been lurking here for a while and decided I should finally leave a comment. Thanks for a great blog.

  4. I spent a day there last fall, and it an incredible experience. One of the more interesting things was the research into the colors the Shakers painted the rooms. Bright, bright yellows, reds, and blues for the woodwork and floors. White for the walls.


  5. Jamie - Thanks! Yeah, it is an amazing place. I'd love to go back too.

    Daniel - Thanks and you're welcome!

    Mark - Thanks for commenting - I'm glad you've been enjoying the blog. I've never seen one of those either - it doesn't look like very much mechanical advantage, so must have been a workout!

    Wesley - Yes, when I was there, they had one room painted with the original color scheme - very bright! I know I took some pictures of that room. Might make an interesting post. Thanks!

  6. Hi Dan,
    I go to Hancock about once a year. My favorite spot is the ice house (triple paned sashes) and the cabinet shop with the "workbench". I sometimes wish I could have been maybe at least a winter shaker.

  7. RJB - I'd love to go once a year - it's such a great place! I want to see it in the snow...

    I remember going into the ice house, but I don't remember noticing the windows. That's the problem with limited time at a place like that - you always miss so much...

    I just posted some pictures of that workbench. I remember walking in and seeing it, and thinking "Whoa!"

    Thanks for commenting!


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