It was George Nakashima (1905-1990), American woodworker, architect and furniture maker. Born in Spokane, Washington and formally educated at the University of Washington and then at M.I.T., Nakashima is “recognized as one of America’s most eminent furniture designer-craftsman,” and one of the leading innovators of 20th century furniture design.
- “Trees have the yearning to live again, perhaps to provide the beauty, strength and utility to serve man and even to become an object of great artistic worth.
- Instead of a long running and bloody battle with nature, to dominate her, we can walk in step with a tree to release the joy in her grains, to join with her to realize her potentials, to enhance the environments of man.
- Each flitch, each board, each plank can have only one ideal use. The woodworker, applying a thousand skills, must find that ideal use and then shape the wood to realize its true potential.”
Known for his butterfly joints and "free-edge" aesthetic, Nakashima’s hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces have become ultra-collectible. And his amazing work continues at the George Nakashima House, Studio and Workshop, New Hope, Pennsylvania, under the direction of daughter, Mira Nakashima, and the Nakashima Team.
For your ‘to-do’ list
Visit nakashimawoodworkers.com for a look at their magnificent work. And then, as an industry advocate, plan a tour of the Nakashima Studio and Workshop. That’s what HMA and the American Hardwood Information Center did for the students of the Pratt Institute School of Industrial Design, Brooklyn Campus. Experiencing ‘Nakashima’ proved to be an educational and inspirational eye opener for them! And an awe inspiring way of delivering our hardwood message.
For information on touring the George Nakashima House, Studio and Workshop, simply call 215.862.2272.