JACOBSEN RED OAK FURNITURE PREMIER AT SHAKER WOODS
Howard Jacobsen sees his life coming full circle when his red oak furniture makes its debut at Shaker Woods. He was a boy of twelve when Sam Ferguson came to buy tomatoes from his father. That was before the Shaker Woods Festival was even a gleam in the eye of the Fergusons whose farm market was flourishing on Route 7.
“As I remember, they couldn’t grow enough tomatoes to meet the demand and our tomatoes had the rich tomato flavor and quality they wanted,”
Howard says. Howard left the farm to join the Army and wherever he was serving during his 28 and ½ year enlistment, the base had a woodshop.
“People think about a physical fitness center and shooting ranges when they think military. But every base has equipment where men and women can learn skills like auto mechanics and carpentry. I took to the work working right away and spent a lot of my free time teaching myself how to use the equipment to make things we could use in our home.”
He honors his wife, Doris, for her willingness to move around and make do when he was out of the country.
“She’s a great wife and mother to our two sons and when I was ready to retire, we both wanted to be independent.”
They bought a house in a suburban neighborhood near the area where Howard grew up and he set up a wood working shop. They appreciate the friendship of good neighbors and the feeling that they’ve come home at last. Once settled, he began to build small tables that fit the niches store-bought tables don’t cover.
“I design everything myself. From my experience, the big stores focus on common sizes and styles. Most of my tables are small. I think of one table I make that is 9 inches wide and 24 inches high. I make them with either spindle legs or in Shaker style. I do most of them with a natural finish. I love the look of the red oak. Now and then, I add a basic Colonial color to the legs,” Howard explains.
In addition to tables, he will bring a variety of mirrors to the Shaker Woods Festival. Many of them look like windows with one, three, four or six panels. The bigger ones are 45 by 32 inches. The smallest one is 18 by 18 inches.
“For the past fifteen years, Doris and I have shown our work along the east coast. We were ready for a change when a friend asked me to help him at the festival last year. Like I said up front, we’re coming full circle when we bring our collection to Shaker Woods. Prices range from $15 to $400.