I fell under the spell of Shaker furniture as a design student studying form, symmetry, asymmetry, and the golden rules of proportion. Shaker design sits among the world’s finest examples of these timeless, classic truths. During the 1960s, Danish cabinetmaker Ejner Handberg (pronounced Eye-ner, 1902-1985) repaired original Shaker pieces brought to his Stockbridge, Mass. shop and carefully measured and drew each piece. After compiling drawings for most of the local Shaker community’s furniture collection, he published a three-volume collection of drawings in 1977. These small books are the go-to source for inspiration and lessons in proportion for cabinet makers all over the world. Ian Ingersoll, a cabinet maker in Connecticut, first told me about these books when I visited his shop and asked for advice about how to research further into furniture making. “Do you have the Handberg books?” was the first thing he asked! I’ve had my set some 20 years now and look at them often.
Note: Although Handberg didn’t illustrate the above rocking chairs, they were included as part of a graphic in volume one (Berkshire Traveller Press).