Jim Shea

My goal in all aspects of my life is simplicity.  Creating a truly simple object, like a simple life, is hard to achieve.  Anything truly simple has depth, strength, confidence and a sense of quiet that draws you in.  That’s not easy.  It’s a constant struggle, but one that I think is worth the fight.

I’m drawn to the Shaker philosophy about craftsmanship.  Shakers were no Luddites, avoiding technology.  They invented the washing machine, the table saw and the flat broom.  Yet for all that cutting edge, their objects embody a strong, quiet and calm spirit.  That’s what I strive for.

One of my favorite Shaker sayings is “Hands to work, Hearts to God. The act of creation is, to me, a form of meditation and even worship. My best work comes from those moments when my mind is silent and my hands and heart fill the silence within me.


Like the Shakers, I use what works best. I take inspiration wherever I find it. The majority of my inspiration comes from my childhood and adolescence in the Northeastern Pennsylvania The colors of the landscape, particularly in fall, define my palette. The textures of the rocks and trees appear over and over. The vegetable garden I hated as child drives my preference for soft and organic versus sharp‑edged and stiff forms.  Seeing the forest and the trees. These form my foundation that I’m continually trying to build upon

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