Monday, March 15, 2010

WOOD YA, COULD YA SERIES PART ONE : Opus in Wood: George Nakashima

"To be intimate with nature in its multifaceted moods
is one of the greatest experiences in life."
                                         -George Nakashima

True to the Craftsman philosophy, George Nakashima employed a strict discipline when creating his furniture. He would take the natural quality of wood, and out of it fashion something real and utilitarian, and make it look like the table grew right out of the ground. The George Nakashima website states that the only thing he added to his creation was "the aspiration of man to produce the wonder and beauty of his potentialities." He also emphasized intense skill and flawless craftmanship, deriving his very satisfaction from the act of producing itself.

George Nakashima (May 24, 1905 – June 15, 1990), born in Spokane, Washington grew up in the forests of the Olympic Peninsula. He was a Japanese American woodworker, architect and furniture maker who was one the leading innovators of 20th century furniture design and a father of the American Crafts movement. Nakashima was said to find wood that suited his ideas instead of the other way around, yielding to their natural form whenever possible. In his work, he explored the organic nature of wood, working with its natural shapes, bends, knots and burls, to create furniture that is like no other.

His property and some of his work can be viewed at a showroom in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Guided tours are available.
George Nakashima Woodworker, S.A.
1847 Aquetong Road, New Hope, PA 18938
215-862-2103 (Fax) 

Elsewhere, here are some other scheduled events:

Scottsdale, AZ     Until March 18, 2010
Nakashima Exhibition at Design Within Reach
(480) 970-8800

New Hope, PA    May 1, 2010
Guided tour of the month at the Nakashima Studio
(215) 862-2272

Learn more about Nakashima. Check out these links:

Design Within Reach sells reproductions of some of his pieces

Nakashima Straight Backed Chair by Knoll
$663 USD

Nakashima Splay-Leg Coffee Table by Knoll
$1,563 USD

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