I look forward to sharing the idea of combining our beautiful hardwoods from Central Pennsylvania with the simple elegance of the Shaker-style box. Most pieces are made to measured drawings of actual Shaker boxes, while others are variations using the same oval bands to form useful carriers and trays. Most of the boxes are made with wood salvaged from storm-damaged trees or through local tree care services. Each piece sold comes with a card including care instructions and also brief information on the tree that it was made from. I am trying to include more of the woods I am working with and the history of the specific trees. Overall, it is my greatest privilege to get to work with pieces that are part of our local history and I hope you enjoy the information about the trees.
I was born in Central Pennsylvania in September 1962 and have lived there ever since. I became fascinated by woodworking at a very young age and began building furniture for around the house as early as junior high school.
I initially began by largely making custom-made pieces of furniture. In 1993, I decided to turn my long time passion into my full-time job, by founding Strouse Woodworking. Late that same year I was asked to make a set of Shaker-style boxes. I had never tried making one before, but I set off on the task. Quickly becoming enthralled by the entire process of making Shaker boxes, from getting the wood, to cutting it, and then to making the actual boxes. Shaker boxes soon became the majority of my work, but I always enjoy making custom furniture when I have time for larger projects.
I entered my first arts festival in 1994, with the People's Choice Festival in Boalsburg, PA. After a couple of years, I had my work in a number of galleries and began participating in art shows throughout Pennsylvania, as well as a few in Virginia and Maryland. In 1996 I became a juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.
We have three children: T.J. (30), Erica (28), and Takara (15). Throughout the years, they have all three played a large role in my business, from spending long hours sanding in the shop to traveling with me to arts festivals all around Pennsylvania. T.J. is a Penn State graduate,and also has a Masters degree in Middle East Studies from George Washington University. He is now living in Oslo, Norway, and working as a Middle East advisor for a Norwegian based oil company. Erica is also a Penn State graduate, and recently graduated with her Masters degree in Social Work at The University of Texas-San Antonio. She is currently living in Tennessee where she works as a foster care social worker. Takara is in the ninth grade at the Bellefonte High School, but is already getting excited about moving on to college. But for now she is my sole help for sanding and attending shows.
To get away from the woodworking and still have an opportunity to work with my hands, I have found an interest over the past several years in vintage motorcycles.
. . . it's all the buzz!
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2288 State Street, Alburtis, PA 18011