Evidence of the Hand

ShackletonThomas is committed to preserving the classic traditions of handwork in both pottery and furniture making. As more companies adopt mass-automation in order to expand profit margins, machines are co-opting our memories of how to make these objects with the human hand. Our training methods follow the artisanal tradition of apprenticeship, and we are committed to passing on an in-depth knowledge of handmade.

Handcarved Curls

The Sleigh Curl detail is carved by hand with a chisel.

Pulling Handles

Jessica King, a master potter at ShackletonThomas, demonstrates the traditional technique of pulling and applying handles for hand-thrown mugs. Jessica has been a potter for ShackletonThomas since 2001.

Quill-Drawn Decoration

Decoration is carved into a decorative piece of handmade pottery using an African porcupine quill.

Our Dovetails

Each dovetail on our drawers is cut by hand, not by a dovetail “machine,” and the drawers sail in and out as if on a breath of wind.

Turning Bowls

These extraordinary bowls are turned by hand on a large lathe in our Bridgewater furniture workshops by a talented turner, Drew Wilkinson.

Drew, with help from a forester, cuts the trees for these bowls on his family farm in Royalton, Vermont. The trees are harvested because they are damaged in some way and their removal will allow for new healthy growth. All the shavings are transported to a local farm to be used as bedding for dairy cows or used as compost for Drew's own potatoes.

Throwing a Beaker

Kneading clay and throwing beakers by hand on the potter’s wheel.