Meet the Amish Furniture Makers: Mark & Sons

Jayca Pike 20/10/2014

Mark & Sons

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A fresh new perspective on creation & design comes courtesy of Mark’s seven sons, all anxious to prove their skills in their father’s renowned woodshop.

In the Amish community, it’s more or less expected that fathers will groom their sons for the family business, and allow them to begin full-time work around the age of sixteen. In Mark’s case, it appears that they sons needed no convincing.

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From toddling to towering, his boys seem-hardwired [and downright excited!] to show us what they can do, as Mark leads us around his two-story shop of about 25 employees (three of the seven Mini-Marks included). Above, Jonathan faithfully signs his name to his latest piece (a nightstand on it’s way to finishing in the back), and David nobly tests the strength of a drawer with his weight.

The boys are part of a palpable influx of forward-thinking throughout Mark’s shop. The majority of workers amicably allowed us to photograph their faces, and didn’t shy away from our pestering questions. Closet doors were opened, beds disassembled, finished products unwrapped to point out this detail, or that bit of dovetail, or this corner joint, or that pocket screw. Amish_Makers_Mark6

Mark showed us the lights that they use to spot almost-imperceptible areas of uneven sanding, the rooms that they dedicate to some of their most popular bedroom pieces, the almost assembly-line process that ensures each part of the build is finished correctly before moving forward.

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By the time that we reach the staining rooms and the completed pieces, we’re worn from walking and rabid note-taking, but Mark continues his tour with a warm smile and a gregarious showcase of his favorite new items. Headboards and dressers are unveiled with flourish to our appreciative and heartfelt “oohs!” and “wows!”.

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In Mark’s world, where family is integral to business and literally signs off on every piece, it’s no wonder that his meticulously crafted bedroom furniture brings a sense of peace, rest, and fulfillment to the rooms it graces.

outtakes

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