Submitted by: Sydney Luther, Gallery Assistant

Our brand new SCC Fine Craft Boutique is filled with beautiful pieces of many different mediums, a few of which our readers may not know much about. We hope to educate these readers through a new collection of blog posts highlighting the different mediums and styles of work we feature in our boutique.

The History and Creation of the Oval Shaker Box
Wayne Dueck is a woodworker from Saskatoon who is a juried member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council. He specializes in the oval Shaker box, which is a sturdy wood box with a tight fitting lid, the style of which was invented by an American religious group known as the Shakers. 
Wayne Dueck’s oval Shaker boxes come in many different sizes.
The Shakers, more formally known as The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, is a group which began in the 17thcentury in France, but soon after immigrated to the United States. The group focused on creating a utopian society based on the virtues of purity, pacifism, tolerance, and equality of the sexes. In the early 19th century, the Shakers reached their peak membership, with more than 6000 Shakers living in 19 different communities in the eastern United States. Today, the last remaining Shaker community is located in Maine, after their numbers dwindled throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. 
Dueck’s boxes are created without any glue, only copper tacks.
The Shakers strived for perfection in everything they did, and this can be seen in their fine but simple woodworking. Dueck agrees with the society’s focus on the utility of handmade objects, and not only beauty. This worldview is engrained in Wayne’s creation of the simple Shaker boxes, which are fashioned using no glue, but only small copper tacks. His design is taken directly from the original Shaker tradition, which dates back to the 1790s. Dueck uses quartersawn cherry and birdseye maple wood in his Shaker boxes, which feature uniform, slender sides, symmetrical joints, and tight fitting lids. Coated with a combination of beeswax and linseed oil, the boxes come in a variety of sizes and can be used to store an assortment of household items and personal treasures. The boxes range in price from $40-$80, depending on their size.
Dueck’s Shaker boxes are featured in the SCC Fine Craft Boutique.
If you are interested in purchasing one of Wayne’s traditional oval Shaker boxes, please visit the SCC Fine Craft Boutique, located in the Saskatchewan Craft Council’s Affinity Gallery at 813 Broadway Avenue, Saskatoon, SK.