Today’s Chadds Ford Days Spotlight features woodwooker Allen Androkites and his intricately designed Shaker Box creations. You can find him at the festival this September 12th-13th, along with many other unique crafters.
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, etc.?
I grew up in Plymouth Township and, in junior high, I had a wonderful woodworking teacher that helped to inspire me – Gene Cestrone. My parents also played a major roll. I attended Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and then off to Millersville University to be a woodworking teacher. Currently, I teach woodworking at Pennridge High School in Perkasie, PA and have enjoyed it tremendously.
How did you end up in Chadds Ford Days, and how many years have you attended?
I have participated in Chadds Ford Days for over 25 years. I learned how to make Shaker Boxes from Dick Soule – Orleans Carpenters. For a few years, he came down from Cape Cod to do Chadds Ford Days. Once he stopped, the Historical Society asked me to replace Orleans Carpenters.
What is your craft and how did you get started in it?
I produce Shaker Boxes with a twist on my own interpretation. I use the same techniques that the Shakers did and then I have used my artistic ability to design and develop new pieces. The design aspect is my motivation.
Do you use any local goods in your craft?
Some of the wood that I use is cherry that grew in Pennsylvania. The finest cherry in the world grows in Pennsylvania. In addition, I use walnut and curly maple lumber from PA.
What is it you want people to remember about your craft/how do you seek to inspire people?
There are four things I would like people to remember, the quality of the product, the original design, the fine finish on the products, and the historical importance of the Shaker Boxes.
How do you seek to impact the community with your business?
I hope to impact the community by offering a unique product with a historical twist at a fair price.
What in particular can we look forward to seeing at your booth this Chadds Ford Days?
Quality Shaker Boxes with original designs and unique wood selection, wood turned items such as spinning tops, toaster tongs, bottle stops. Also, in my booth, I will be cutting boards and clip boards.