Monday, December 5, 2011

A Simple Gift - Shaker Boxes

This miniature stack of Shaker boxes (about 4" high) delights us each year as an ornament on our Christmas tree, and now it can delight me as a 20 minute sketch. I love Shaker-style anything, their aesthetic is timeless in its simplicity. Pen and watercolor, 4 1/2" x 6 1/2".

There is a quote ascribed to William Morris (the famous Arts & Crafts designer & erstwhile philosopher): "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,” that I personally love, but at which the Shakers would have laughed. Every single item they owned, used and/or made was practical first, yet beautiful at the same time. They would never have had anything like "art for art's sake." Fortunately now we can admire aesthetics of all styles and eras and appreciate them simply because they are beautiful - Shaker-style included.

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