Woodworker David Kramer is the principle Shaker oval box maker for Shakertown at Pleasant Hill. David Kramer has built many things in his life. Trained as an engineer with a degree from MIT, he designed and built missile systems for the electronics industry and then designed and built off-shore platforms for the oil industry. Today he works at his own creative industry - building exact reproductions of Shaker Oval boxes true to the ones originally made at Pleasant Hill.
Kramer builds his boxes out of Cherry, Maple and Walnut veneer and he uses dyes to color his boxes, matching the original bright Shaker colors. The Shakers at Pleasant Hill had a silkmaking industry and made bright dyes to color the silk fabrics they produced and sold. These same dyes were used to color their oval boxes which allowed the natural grain beauty of the wood to show through. The Pleasant Hill was the only Shaker village that finished their oval boxes on the inside – and Kramer does this as well.
While the Shakers at Pleasant Hill only made their boxes for use within the village and for shipping medicinal herbs, Kramer sells all the boxes he can make, at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea and at Shakertown at Pleasant Hill.