The Amish continue to live rural, old fashioned lifestyles even in today's modern world and continue to prefer to work with their hands and largely live off the land. In our highly mechanized modern lives, the principles that the Amish still live by and the way in which they continue to create Amish handcrafted furniture, may seem to be something of an anomaly. However these makers of quality furniture are able to maintain their frugal, simple and sustainable, non wasteful lifestyles largely because of their rural life and their traditional trades that depend upon little other than what the land itself offers them. Though Amish furniture has now come to be available easily and widely throughout the United States, it is still made the same old fashioned way. What has changed is the way that people are able to have access to and buy this furniture. A number of business people and distributors have become a sort of bridge, a via media, between the Amish who continue to avoid outside contact, and those of us who wish to buy high quality furniture. This serves the purpose of letting the Amish continue to live in their simple lives in their private rural communities that are insulated from main stream life without interruption or disturbance. They continue to earn their living by farming, furniture making and other such trades that may be plied from home, preserving their way of life. And it also serves to make available to us, Amish made furniture, without us having to physically visit those communities to buy their products. The Amish furniture is made in a sustainable way, since it is made the old fashioned way, using few or no machines, electricity and other items that leave a carbon footprint. It is still old fashioned dovetail joinery that holds pride of place for the talented Amish furniture makers; and hand tools are still the preference. Locally harvested wood being used for handcrafting the furniture means that imported raw materials are not used and other social costs are not added to the equation. In addition, non toxic finishes are also used that are environment friendly because they are often made of natural oils. Sometimes, well kept or perfectly preserved antiques may be indistinguishable from new pieces of Amish handcrafted furniture, since they may both look quite alike and since Amish furniture bears none of the hallmarks of modern furniture. Due to the modern set up where the master craftsmen deal with only one or a few people who distribute and market their furniture, it is also possible to customize Amish furniture today. Buyers can communicate their requirements and preferences as to color, design and dimensions of a particular piece of furniture, and these are then conveyed to the furniture makers, who then proceed to fashion wood into what is required. It is also possible, in some cases, to visit the workshop of an Amish craftsman, to see furniture being made - as it should be - the old fashioned way! Among many Michigan furniture stores, the author recommends this Amish furniture store which has great Amish bedroom sets.
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