We’re often asked, “Is your furniture really made by Amish craftsmen?” Yes! And more importantly, it’s made by Amish craftsmen who work independently on their own homesteads.
This is the way furniture used to be made: one piece at a time, created from real hardwoods, by a craftsman who is responsible for every aspect of the furniture from beginning to end.
Sam is one of our craftsmen. He’s been busy building his new workshop for the past few months. This will allow him to continue creating beautiful furniture for us, while staying close to home.
Being close to home like this is a very important thing for the Amish community. Making furniture for Erik Organic and its customers allows them the independence to stay on the farm, without having to travel to nearby communities looking for work.
Sam has been working with us for 3-4 years now. He was initially working with a partner named Sam (yes — Sam and Sam! ). The other Sam moved across the state, to be closer to his wife’s family. The other Sam stayed in place, working out of his father-in-law’s workshop.
This is a pretty big change for Sam. He’s been renting out a workshop, renting the tools, and sharing the space with others. As he describes it, this has been difficult because there are “too many people trying to use the same equipment”.
The new shop is being built on Sam’s 10 acres, which is mainly pasture land. 5 acres are pasture for his horses, 5 acres are set aside as hay for the horses. As you can see, Sam raises his own fuel locally
They also have a large vegetable and flower garden on the 10 acres of land, which is maintained by his wife. They have one cow which provides for the family.
The new workshop will be near the house, around 100-150 feet away. The workshop is 30′ x 56′ (exterior measurements). The interior walls are 10′ tall.
The workshop has been built by old-fashioned barn raising, with help provided by neighbors and family. Most of the building is being done via the Amish community, including the floor, interior walls and finishing work.
The structure is built with pine structural 2x4s and 2x8s, with tin siding on the outside. The interior walls are oriented strand board (OSB). The flooring is made from pine. The window trim is cedar. The entire workshop is heated by big fireplace, which burns scrap wood and “large slabs of whatever wood is handy”. Sand and gravel is scattered on the floor, and base of the fireplace, to keep the bottom of the fireplace cool. There are lots of windows — natural light is very important when your only source of interior light is lamp-power!
Sam’s tools are all diesel-belt driven, supplemented by hand tools.