One of the central elements of Amish culture is family. Amish couples generally have seven to ten children, and the family unit is often made larger by elderly members. As you can imagine, in an Amish household meal times are often quite lively. Since the fathers and older sons work nearby in fields or workshops, and mothers and older daughters work around the house, the entire family is able to gather together for daily meals. The Amish consider this to be a treasured time of family sharing and bonding, something we rarely see in our busy world. The Amish also maintain close ties with extended family and members of the local settlement community, and it is not uncommon for them to spend their free time visiting during meals. Weekly church gatherings are also held around the family dining table, as well as the large wedding celebrations held by the Amish.
Amish woodworkers labor long and hard to provide high quality and enduring oak tables, wooden dining chairs and dining furniture for their families, communities, and the “English” around them. The effort is worth it, as each craftsman gains great satisfaction in creating heirloom pieces that reflect Amish values of utility, simplicity, and excellence. Not only are they built in the Amish tradition from the finest wood, but these superior pieces become centerpieces in the home, complementing the family meal-time tradition. In the interim, they live with the bride’s family and seek out foundational pieces to build upon, including a dining table. They know that their dining table will become a treasured, long-lasting heirloom as it proves its worth over and over again as a centerpiece for family bonding.
While large family gatherings to celebrate special events and holidays have always been part of American culture, many families today have rediscovered the value of regular family meal times. More and more people are actively striving to reinstate this crucial time of family bonding in their own daily routines. As more and more gather round the table, many families are choosing to add significance to traditional meals and special family gatherings with a durable Amish-made dining set or oak dining table.
Farming has traditionally been the mainstay of the Amish economy, but high land prices and a growing population have forced many young men to pursue a craft such as furniture building. Outbuildings are often converted to woodshops, or otherwise new buildings are built to house new woodworking businesses. With a growing number of craftsmen, a thriving market for handcrafted Amish furniture has developed. With so many woodworking shops, a wide variety of furniture has become available in many styles. Amish furniture can even be custom-ordered according to preferences in wood type, leg style, skirting, dimensions, and finish. Traditionally, Amish craftsmen sell their creations directly from their own shops, but many have now partnered with local “English” businessmen to distribute their goods in nearby stores or over the Internet.
Amish dining sets are available in a wide variety of styles, including Mission, Shaker, Windsor, Queen Anne, French Country, Hoosier, sheaf-backed, Franklin, Malibu, Portland, and more contemporary designs. Amish craftsmanship dictates that you will never find imitations or laminates. Rather every piece is crafted from the highest quality woods, such as solid oak, cherry, walnut, maple, and pine. In selecting a dining table, you need to consider the leg supports, which might be the basic four legs, trestle or pedestal. Likewise, table tops can be circular, oval, square, rectangular, or octagonal, and leaf styles come in side drop, separate center, or stowleaf.