The modern furniture industry is a global one, all-too-often focused on mass production of generic products produced by poorly compensated employees often working in third-world conditions. Individuality of the products, along with the unique characteristics separating one individual furniture piece from all others is systematically stamped out, ensuring a general uniformity in all cases.
As for the products? Those consistently average pieces celebrating nothing but the routine are shipped over long ocean voyages, potentially waiting in transit for weeks (or worse) before reaching the first part of a shipping process that could involve coast-to-coast travel. The only certainty is that the “Made proudly in the U.S.A” notification is certain to be missing.
Providing a running counterpoint to run the of mill mass furniture production operating overseas is a tale made entirely in the United States of America, through the contribution of Amish craftsmen dedicated to their Amish furniture trade. Living in states throughout the north eastern U.S. in and around the Great Lakes, in a list of destinations that includes Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Wisconsin, Amish artisans living in their local communities have a long-established reputation for producing exquisite pieces of furniture from their individual woodworking shops. Each piece – be it a dining room table, dresser, home office desk, entertainment center or anything else in between – embodies all the finest attributes of the master woodworker behind the scenes, with an attention to detail and precision in construction like no imported competitor.
What’s the hidden secret to success built into the very fabric of Amish furniture history? Simple. It begins and ends with the craftsmen involved. The Amish woodworkers are practitioners of a time-tested Christian faith that eschews many modern technological conveniences, preferring instead to use tools and equipment that don’t depend on electricity. While hand-powered tools are suitable for use, it’s almost a certainty that any modern amenities will be left by the wayside.
Just as important as the tools, it’s important to consider the general path followed by the Amish artisans. These individuals – universally teenage boys – learn their profession not from a trade school, but from their most respected mentors: their relatives. These aspiring artists conclude their formal education in accordance with their faith, leaving their formal education behind to pursue a practical education. They instead focus on learning under the watchful instruction of their grandfathers, fathers, uncles, and elder brothers, continuing a long-established tradition.
This approach is in accordance with the beliefs of the Amish community that is frequently misunderstood in the greater American community. Beyond brief forays into popular culture through reality television and occasional major motion pictures (the film “Witness” starring Harrison Ford comes to mind immediately), practitioners of the Amish faith tend to follow their beliefs with a quiet dignity.
Equally unspoken – but an integral presence throughout the building process — is the commitment of Amish craftsmen to deliver products offering the highest level of quality for every piece of Amish furniture coming from workshops. There’s an undeniable reassurance in knowing that every piece of Amish furniture available for purchase comes from the hands of woodworkers trained intimately in the ways of their craft.