'Hands to Work, Hearts to God'

The Shaker Family Home turns furniture making into an act of prayer

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'Hands to Work, Hearts to God'
28/03/2019 - The Shaker Family Home is a collection of work inspired by the austere religious and furniture-making practices of the Shaker people during the early 19th Century. Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson, with their diverse backgrounds and methodologies, have created a series of wooden furniture items that reside within the larger cabinet, mirroring the spiritual Shaker cosmos. The collection will be presented at Salone del Mobile as part of the Local Milan No.4 exhibition by Local Design, showcasing Australian and New Zealand design. The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shakers see labor of all kinds as an act of prayer, as indicated by their central belief – ‘Hands to work, hearts to god’. The Shaker furniture style is in fact instantly recognizable for its well-made minimalist designs. The Shaker Family Home is an homage to this way of life: furniture design and making as an act of prayer; the fragility of faith; and the complexity of family in a community where no children are born. The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The cabinet in this family of objects represents the Shaker home, a structure that houses the family members in a series of drawers - the rooms of the house. The members of the family are represented by a series of functional object, each living in its own drawer within the cabinet. No two objects are the same, tied together only by the Shaker sensibility that governs their design. As in Shaker communities, these objects can remain in the fold, functioning as part of the family unit, inside the cabinet. However, they are also free to leave the fold and function as autonomous objects outside of the cabinet, the family home, and the community.

The Shaker Family Home brings together Trent Jansen’s heavily research-led, anthropological design approach with Chris Nicholson’s sensitive understanding and recreation of Shaker theologies and making methodologies in a nuanced homage to the purity of the Shakers, their beliefs and their cabinetry. The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home required a truly collaborative approach to design and making. The conception of this narrative-driven furniture piece required a designer with a strong history of embodying story in physical form. The realization of this family of objects required a maker whose skills and sensibilities were fully attuned to the complexity and fastidiousness of the Shaker approach to living, worshiping and making.

LOCAL MILAN No.4
presented by LOCAL DESIGN
Via Cesare Correnti 14 in 5 Vie
April 8-14
The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

The Shaker Family Home by Trent Jansen and Chris Nicholson. Ph. by Romello Pereira

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