Don S. Shoemaker furniture designs, Mexico Mid-century modern and other furniture designers
Don S. Shoemaker Furniture

Don S. Shoemaker Furniture Designs

Mexico´s greatest Modern furniture designer

Don S. Shoemaker is Mexico´s most accomplished Mid century furniture designer. His  furniture masterpieces in tropical woods from the 1960´s and 1970´s are becoming important examples of 20th century design. The precious woods used to produce his organic forms were unmatchable  by any other furniture designer of his time. When I refer to his organic designs, I am talking about a marvelous prototype in wood I had the opportunity to see, sit and enjoy, which was the base of what we know now as his simple “SLING” chair, made in some sort of bone shape disposition.

I will show samples of his original designs and furniture models. I invite you all to share in this website comments and pictures of your Don S. Shoemaker original furniture pieces. Lately I have seen a wide range of fakes or attributed pieces on sale on the web, in magazines, at auctions and even on renowned showrooms. This is an invitation to fight for the purity of Don S. Shoemakers lifetime work that I am sure every owner of a chair, stool or table of the real SEÑAL, S.A. production will share with me as long as when you own, care and cherish your solid tropical wood piece you become a “Shoemakeristi” and we do not want the corruption of his designs and name.

During the decade of the 1970´s Don also experimented with linear designs, he challenged the traditional boundaries of functional design and created the renowned #8220;Diamond Line#8221; or sometimes called the #8220;Z#8221; models. Built in stack-laminated wood this line became very well known through the iconic #8220;diamond desk#8221;, which was used by Jacobo Zabludovsky, one of Mexico´s most famous newscasters on his daily TV program. Unfortunately there are many new copies of this desk in the market; street tales say that only a total of 25 were produced but the unlabeled desks currently on sale might be easily 10 times that number.

If the piece seems odd, the leather is brand new, the wood looks new and smells like new and carries no label or stamp or is taped then it is a new copy!

© Karin Goyer and Don S. Shoemaker Furniture, 2010-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this website’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karin Goyer and Don S. Shoemaker Furniture with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


    1. The purpose of this website is to provide accurate information about the models, names, lines, woods, etc. on Don S. Shoemaker originals. This data will become the greatest tool to make your own decision on whether or not it is an original. Please do not forget the mantra included in one of my posts. I have been making personal #8220;incognito#8221; visits to galleries in the US and in Mexico to certify the furniture that they are selling. Soon I will release the results. If you have any doubt about a specific piece, send me a picture.

      Karin Goyer
      1. Hi,
        I am not sure what email address I can use to send you a photograph of a chair that we recently purchased.
        Can you send the information. We would like to know if it is an original #8211; and hoping to get advice as to how to restore this piece #8211; it requires a replacement peg.

      2. Hi #8211; I have a parquetry service tray with diamond design. It has a tag on the back that says design by Don S. Shoemaker made in Mexico. I would like to know if it#8217;s authentic or not. I would like to send you a picture. Thank you #8211; Tammy

        Tammy Salvatici
  1. My father wife lived in San Miguel GTO for many years and acquired the sling chair, which I now own.I saw the chair in a museum in Mexico 5 years ago the WWweb has finally caught up with him.The back is very off-w hite (no longer) leather and the cushion oddly a plastic of some kind, naughahide?Wood is clearly beautiful rosewood.
    I#8217;s not comfortable for me but is surely an object of interest for friends visiting

    Joan Davidson,Ph.d
  2. This website is outstanding for all those who wish to inquire about the fascinating works of both Don and George Shoemaker. Through an estate sale purchase, my husband and I recently became owners of one of, evidently George Shoemaker#8217;s, dominoes sets (as has the transparent fiberglass even though has the Don Shoemaker label). It is such a unique piece #8211; truly a treasure to own.

    Diane Kirby
  3. Can you create a page, about some of the bookends that Don Shoemaker Senal produced?
    It seems he used a few species of wood, some say cocobolo, rosewood, and mesquite, do we have any idea of the number of species, years created, and quantity produced?

  4. Hello, your blog is fantastic. keep it up!

    I recently purchased a Don Shoemaker rocker and it requires a bit of restoration. For example, some of the pins have broken off at the ends, the bolts appear to have been replaced and there is a poor repair job done to where the swing bracket attaches to the seat pad #8216;tray#8217;.
    Do you know where I could obtain any replacement parts?

    Many thanks

    P.S. I cannot find any reference to the rocker/rocking chair on your blog. Do you call it something else?

  5. Hello I have a few questions. Im into mid century decor and about a year ago I purchased a Shoemaker slouch sling chair from a fellow picker/ mid century enthusiast. The pins have the half round tops and I read somewhere that early pieces have the half round tops. Is this true? Also my sling has a different type of sling that you normally see on these. My sling is exactly like this sling.

    My sling leather looks really old (definitely period 50#8217;s/ 60#8217;s) and the patina on the brass tacks are really dark. Originally I thought it was a period replacement but after seeing the one to which I provided the link for above it makes me think it may be original. Mine does not have the through tendons as the linked one but like I stated the tack, the sling leather and the cut of the leather is exact.

  6. Ich habe seit Jahrzehnte eine ganze Wohnzimmereinrichtung, diverse Sessel und auch meine Essstuehle und einen grossen geschnitzen Esszimmertisch, mit Glasplatte und Schnitzereien.(Der Tisch ist weiches Holz)
    Vor vielen Jahren habe ich es in einem Geschaeft vom San Angel Inn in Mexico D.F. gekauft und bin sehr gluecklich.

    Nur wuesste ich gerne, wie ich das Holz, welches durch Sonneneinstrahlung gelitten hat, auch das Leder, gut pflegen kann, damit ich an meinen Orginalmoebeln von Don S. Shoemaker weiterhin viel Freude habe.

    Viele Gruesse
    Christa Engelmann

    Engelmann Christa
  7. I have one of the sling sloucher chairs, my father has owned it for years. I and am considering selling it. Does anyone know what a fair value for the sling chair. It is in great condition, the leather is slightly worn, but otherwise perfect.

    Thank you,
    San Diego

    Keoni Rosa
  8. Hi Karen:

    Don Shoemaker was very influencial in the way my career turned out.
    I used to visit his workshops when I was working in Morelia for the Mexican Government in 1967. His work inspired me to break free to become an independent wood artist in California thirty years ago.

    When I exhibiting at the Smithsonian Show in DC in 1989 or 1990 an frail elderly man in a wheelchair came up to my booth and it was a surprise to recognize Don. He was with a family member, his daughter I believe.

    She purchased an elaborate console table from me, in memory of Don.

    Po Shun

  9. Great Blog, thanks for creating it! I own a sling chair, but unfortunately it got damaged about a month ago, I need to find some who can restore it, but i#8217;m having a hard time doing it in Mexico city. I also own a black leather couch which I couldn#8217;t find in this blog. They were both bought directly in the Morelia factory in the late 80#8217;s. Is there a way to upload pictures?

    Thanks again for creating this Blog!


    Pablo Villegas
  10. Hi,
    I bought a strange looking chair in a London auction a few months ago not knowing what it was but only that I thought the design was brilliant. No one knew what it was and then the other day I stumbled across a website which led me to you.
    The chair looks like a Pernos chair although it is different in some minor respects to the images you show. In the same sale they had a table which I now know from your site to have been a Parsons coffee table but I#8217;m still not sure as to the authenticity of the chair. Rather unusually, it has hand-written labels on some joints to aid the person (owner?) in how to re-assemble it. The leather stitching is also different.
    However, when I bought it I assumed it might be a prototype. The handwriting suggests someone educated in the 1930#8217;s and 40#8217;s who may have imported it to England or made it themselves. The pins are identical in nature to those you show. Could I possibly send you some pictures? It#8217;s fascinating and I#8217;m keen to establish the story of my chair!
    Thanks and regards,

  11. I have a tray by Don S. Shoemaker, Produced by: Senal S.A. Sta. Ma. de Guido Morelia,Mich. Mexico. 3020 pesos (all this info is on the back of the tray) just wanted to know if it is original. Thanks so much, Ida 972-523-8483

    Ida C. jones
  12. Hola, tengo una silla que mi padre compró directamente en la fábrica de Morelia, desafortunadamente la piel se dañó y quisiera saber donde me la pueden arreglar. Vivo en México, DF

    Dora Espinosa
  13. HI, I have several original pieces- mostly the chairs, and would like help in getting them properlh resfored. One of the chors is the sling-and the leather part has given out. The rocking chair had a little foot stool-the leather and decorative tassels ha e deteriorated over the years. I am also in need of pegs.
    My parents knew Don back in the day and actually spent thier honeymoon with him in 1961.
    Thank you for any help!

    Katy McCoy
  14. Hi there,

    A friend of mine acquired a Don Shoemaker chair that he thought was dated from the 1940#8217;s #8211; 1950#8217;s #8230;. The leather looks quite old but the chair is in remarkable shape and it#8217;s an amazing piece of design#8230;. It came with a side table that has the same wooden pegs and design #8230;. but we cannot find the table in any of the images of his furniture? We were wondering if we sent a photo if there is someone who could identify the piece? as one of Mr. Shoemaker#8217;s. Just knowing the story would make his day! Thank you#8230;.

  15. I have a Don Shoemaker chair that needs the leather replaced. It has torn and I am afraid to have just anyone repair it. Any suggestions? I live in Florida and the chair was purchased in Mexico by my Step father in the 70#8217;S. Thank you!

  16. As a child, I visited Mexico many times and in 1971, I went again with my mom, who was very taken with the beautiful Shoemaker furniture. She bought 2 big chairs with over stuffed black leather cushions, 2 swing/rockers and 2 sling chairs. Later, I lived in Guadalajara for 5 years and never saw them during that time, although I remember Jacobo Zabludovsky. Years later after my mom died, I was fortunate to receive them and have always loved them. Currently, one of the swing chairs lives in my work studio. I#8217;m thrilled to finally find more information on this wonderful furniture line! Thanks for the info and even more thanks fire the amazing creative furniture!

    Ruth B
  17. Hi, I recently acquired a backgammon set with the Don S Shoemaker label on the back. After some research, i see that the leather dice holders are missing. Can they be replaced? Also, do you know if there were many of these backgammon games made and the value of this item?
    Thanks for having this site. I really like the set and am excited to have it as i am also a woodworker.

    Mark Fluitt
  18. My wife and I came across an unusual looking rocking chair at a second hand junk shop about 8 years ago. We purchased the chair for for almost nothing and assumed it was built by artist craftsman but it was missing any identification. The back leather is identical to the shoemaker piece but the seating has been replaced with nylon stockings that are woven to form a cool seating. I really thought that it was the original seat. I#8217;m still not for sure if the chair is a Shoemaker or a copy. The leather back is torn and seems very worn and old. It looks like the back supports are upside down but clearly identical in shape. The chair is assembled with wood pegs and has all the correct shapes and curves of the Shoemaker rocker. Can I send you some pics to verify?
    Thanks Guy

    Guy Nelson
  19. Hi, I#8217;d like to send you some photos so I might authenticate some alleged Don Shoemaker pieces. Is that a service you offer? Could I get a direct email to send you the pictures? Thanks, Jeff Cook

    Jeffrey Cook
  20. Hello there!
    Huge fan of your work I was lucky to recently acquire a vintage piece#8230;. a tray tray stand.
    It doesnt have any stickers on the bottom so Im wondering if I could trouble you to look at the photos advise me if anything jumps out at you that denote#8217;s its a fake or not. OR, if you have someone you trust that can identify, if you could kindly forward their info.
    Please advise many thanks again
    PS, I should send the photos#8230; I#8217;ll need an email to send them.

  21. I purchase a Don Shoemaker chair#8230;The leather was worn out and wood pegs missing. It has the old label #8230;I have replaced the leather and need to find a source for the wood pegs..any suggestions,..The design varies from all the pictures I have seen. The seat has 3 adjustments on a metal rod that has threaded ends that protrude through the wood. No arms. It appears to be the Cocobolo rosewood.
    I found it here in Mexico.

    Thank you

    Collier Kear

    collier kear

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.