• Arts & Crafts Inspired Amish Furniture

    Thanks to the Amish community’s preservation of the integrity of Arts and Crafts, its furniture is as endearing today as when it was first introduced over one hundred years ago. Although born in Europe, Arts and Crafts soon became and have remained an American favorite; heavily influenced by the native elements of its natural geography as well as its designers. Though popular for its beauty and function, at the center of the Arts and Crafts philosophy there is more than just furniture or architecture. Arts and Crafts is in fact an ideal.

    The United States was barely a century old and in historical terms an infant fresh from its own revolution. It was a country full of personalities inherently ready to accept a design based on rebellion. Arts and Crafts was a progressive movement of social reform with socially responsible principles at its core. The mass produced machine made over-indulgence of Victorian home owners caused a desire for change to develop among artists and designers. There was a realization that true craftsmanship was being lost and together they formed a union of people uprising against it.

    Designers like British born Morris and Scottish born Mackintosh helped establish a spirit that rejected the ornate and gaudy machine made textiles and furniture of the Victorian age. Because of the Industrial Revolution, with its mass production ability, many of the finer crafts and art had been lost. Morris brought back an interest in the art of weaving, and textile dyeing and printing by hand. Although British idealists began the revolution a wide variety of designers and countries left their mark on the movement that swept from Britain to America during the Victorian period. William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gustav Stickley, C.F.A. Voysey, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Greene & Greene and many others in Britain and the United States all became some of the most important names in interior and architectural designs then and now. Today the Amish artisans still strive to meet the benchmarks set by these brilliant design visionaries.

    Once the movement left the shores of Britain and swept America, designers in the United States added their own history making design details. Stickley, Wright and Greene & Greene looked at their nation and saw groups on their own soil already living the values of the Society of Arts & Crafts and drew from this indigenous pool of resources. From Native Americans and Southwestern lifestyles was birthed the Mission style. The Shaker community heavily influenced Frank Lloyd Wright since they already embodied the principles of the Society of Arts and Crafts. True to Yankee ingenuity Americans like Gustav Stickley found a way to use machines to remove the elitist elements that Morris had once struggled with thus delivering high end design to at least the middle class masses. Today the elements of Arts & Crafts are even more widely available to people of varied incomes thanks to the Amish.

    Maintaining the belief that good design can still be affordable and collected the Amish recreate the designs and quality upheld by Stickley and Wright. The many styles of the Arts and Crafts movement help to ensure its longevity. There is literally something for every taste that can be blended into any home décor. Paneled chairs and couches in the Stickley design or Shaker inspired chests and bookcases like Wright was fond of are available in hardwoods like native oak, maple and cherry in customized stains, handcrafted by Amish artisans for your home.