Amish furniture is furniture marketed as being made by the Amish, primarily of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. It is generally known as being made of 100% wood and usually without particle board or laminate.
Because Amish beliefs prevent the use of electricity, many woodworking tools in Amish shops are powered by hydraulic and pneumatic power that is run on diesel generators. Most communities permit some technology, and allowances can be made in the case of woodworking, as the craft often supports multiple families within the community.
Great attention is paid to the details of the wood in the furniture-making process. Each piece of wood is hand-selected to match the specific furniture in mind. Attention is paid to the grain of the wood, both in gluing pieces together and in achieving the desired look of the finished piece. Amish furniture is also valued for its sustainability and is considered a green product. The Amish woodworkers pride themselves in their work and view their products as both a pieces of art and furnishings to be used and lived in for generations.
Amish furniture is made in many different styles. The Mission and Shaker styles share a few characteristics. Mission is characterized by straight lines and exposed joinery. It is often considered to be clean and modern in design. The Shaker style is plain, yet elegant and has a very simple and basic design aimed at functionality and durability. The Queen Anne style is in direct contrast to the Mission and Shaker styles. It is considered traditional, with ornate moldings, unique foot details, and carved ornamentation. Other styles available are Southwestern, Rustic, Cottage, and Beachfront.
Amish furniture making is often a skill passed through many generations. Most Amish children rarely attend school beyond eighth grade, often to help out at home, or in the shops. Many families become known for their specific design details and niches. Some woodworkers focus only on outdoor furniture, others on pieces for the living room or bedroom. No piece of furniture is ever identical because of the care taken to select the wood. The grain is different on every piece of wood, and the craftsmen often try to highlight the features of each individual piece.
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