Shaker box making with Murray Marks

Wood, carving and turning

Ref: S2D11468

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About this course

Learn how to make a set of three nesting Shaker boxes in American red cherry using traditional woodworking techniques for bending wood and crafting the iconic Shaker swallow tail joint.

Course Description

You will learn how to make a beautiful set of three nesting Shaker boxes in American red cherry. No previous woodworking experience is needed. You will be taken step-by-step through the box making process, learning traditional Shaker techniques including bending wood in hot water, crafting the iconic Shaker swallow tail joint and securing the bands and bases with copper tacks and tiny wooden pins and without using any glue. Along the way there will be time to learn something about the Shakers, their communities and the principles underpinning their designs.

By the end of the course you will know the processes involved in making a Shaker box and be reasonably able to safely use the skills acquired on the course to make a box. An instruction booklet will be provided for you to take home at the end of the course.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing all materials required for the your set of boxes.

What students need to bring

  • An apron and stout covered footwear to wear in the workshop – essential
  • Notebook and pen
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Murray Marks

Murray has crafted Shaker wares since 2003. Largely self taught he further developed his skills with America's master box maker John Wilson. Murray runs courses and displays his work at the Rum's Eg gallery in Romsey and in 2015 and 2016 ran masterclasses at the Institute of Making in London.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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