Chairs are the furniture form most directly associated with the human body - supporting it in space for comfort or for status; and they are deeply embedded in our culture with meaning. Which makes them uniquely interesting to design and make!
In this class, we’ll look at numerous examples of different types of chairs through history, and also all the ways in which chairs fail us and our bodies and how we can make sitting less unhealthy and more interesting.
The instructor will show many examples of chairs, and then move to talking about chairs she has made and how she has used them as vehicles both for woodworking techniques and for thinking about cultural concerns. She will show her method for designing and bringing a chair to completion.
Laura Mays is a woodworker, designer and educator. Born and raised in Ireland and trained as an architect, she gravitated to woodworking as a satisfying union of hand and mind, and a way of seeing a project entirely through to completion. Since 2011 she has been the director of The Krenov School at Mendocino College in Fort Bragg California where the focus is on high levels of craftsmanship, and paying deep attention to process and material. She is working on a project with Deirdre Visser, Making a Seat at the Table, looking at women in woodworking - so far this has manifested as an exhibition of women woodworkers at The Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia, October 2019 through January 2020, and a book will be published in Fall 2021.
See more images of Laura’s work below, and by visiting her website lauramays.com or Instagram @laurabmays.
More information on The Krenov School thekrenovschool.org and on Making a Seat at the Table womenwoodworking.org