Where are the women woodworkers? Everywhere.
When I first started woodworking I assumed that not many women worked with wood. However, it didn't take long to realize I was wrong. Women were involved historically with woodworking and they are doing incredible work today.
In fact, women are the fastest growing segment of woodworkers. This is reflected in the growing number of classes and programs aimed at women. I also see it in the classes I teach. So, why does it matter? Why focus on women?
My answer starts with a brief story:
I was at a show selling my work. A man asked me if I did the work myself. When I said, yes, I did, he asked me if I did it all. "Do you even run the power tools?" he asked.
I had a brief image of myself running down to the road to flag down a man when I need to cut a board. But, I answered politely, that yes, I even ran the power tools.
That, of course, is an extreme example, but all too often people - both men and women - are surprised that I'm a woodworker. So, my goal is to increase the visibility of women woodworkers. Women today are doing incredible work with wood, in all areas, from furniture to sculpture, to cabinetry to turning.
Scroll down for a short list of some of my favorite women working wood today. Click on the links button on the left for more information on the women listed below.
Below is a cherry table made by a women in one of my classes.
Above, women work on wood-duck boxes the class made to donate to a local conservation organization.
Julie Godfrey does miraculous work with marquetry. Marquetry is the art of "painting" with wood. This is done by cutting wood of different species and color into different shapes and melding them together to form a picture. It's an intricate and time consuming process.
I've played with marquetry, making designs that involve
maybe 6 or 8 different pieces of wood. Julie's work has thousands of
individual cuts. Incredible.
Judy Kensley McKie makes furniture that is art. She brings a certain grace and, I think, joy to her work. It's part sculpture and entirely beautiful. I love the graceful lines of her work.
Women such as Wendy Maruyama are making studio furniture that expands our vision of furniture and art. Wendy Maruyama's artwork makes me think. It can be challenging as well as beautiful.
Teri Masaschi shares her knowledge of finishing through books and articles. I've learned a lot from her work. She makes finishing fun - something I wouldn't have thought possible.
Nora Hall has been carving for decades. I don't know anything about carving, but her work makes me wish I did!
These are just a few of the women working today. Women are in the guilds, on the forums, taking classes, teaching classes, working professionally....
No doubt about it. Women woodworkers are everywhere.
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