Amish, organic, cherry, cedar chestEdit
Having access to amazing stands of hardwood, as Amish craftsman do, is very important when building a quality cherry cedar chest. But building to last involves more than just having the right wood that's been properly prepared - it involves a lot of knowledge, patience, and commitment. Time honored methods of building fine furniture do take a lot more time to assemble. But a well-constructed cedar chest that will last forever has to have this kind of construction, rather than being simply joined together by tool and machine.
The great care that comes from handcrafting completes the design. When things are made by the hands and eyes of a real person, they can feel and see things a machine cannot. And when those eyes are those of an Amish craftsman who takes the time to build in the way he learned from his father so many years ago, the process of making an heirloom has begun before the cedar chest is even started.
And so it goes, from father to son, the right way to make a piece of furniture or a cherry cedar chest that can stand the test of time. Building to last is not something you can find in machine made furniture, because it requires this gentle yet firm touch. It is something that can only be taught, not written about. The apprenticeships of the Amish craftsmen who build these chests are part of the process of standing up over time, because the process itself has already stood up over time.
For decades the Lane chest company in conjunction with local furniture stores gave miniature hope chests to young women about to graduate from High School. They promoted the purchase of a full sized chest for storing the things being collected in anticipation of marriage and starting a household -- a "hope" chest. This tradition of a hope chest goes back much farther in history.
- AARP article on What I Really Know About Legacy: Mama's Cedar Chest - an article about the use of a chest to keep mementos and pass on family stories
- Virginia Historical on the Lane Cedar Chest - a short article about the now-defunct company and its history making hope chests or "The gift that starts the home."