Jodie Prud’homme is one of 43 fine woodworkers who are showcased in the exhibition Making a Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking. We conducted a brief interview via email to find out more about her work.
Why is this exhibition important to you?
On a personal level, it’s felt like a tremendous honor to be included in the same room with so many people whose work I admire. Some who have been working for decades who I’ve known about and respected for a long time and some I’ve only just learned of through this show. That my work is considered on par with the other women in this group is humbling! And I feel lucky to be a part of this project that is documenting and bringing to the forefront the scope and scale of skilled work by women and that is in some way bringing us together.
What advice would you give your younger self about getting into woodworking?
Start early, experiment a lot! It’s the kind of practice that just takes time and a lot of hands-on experience to build your skill and expertise. As I was first learning I often got hung up on wanting to understand the “right” way to do things. I moved very slowly and very cautiously. While there can be wrong ways to do things I’ve also come to understand that there are lots of right ways and the more you try things out the more you learn (and the more fun it is!).
Which piece in the exhibition stood out the most to you?
There were so many inspiring pieces and such a variation in work and style that I’m reluctant to boil it down to only one piece. For example, the very striking presence of Laura Kishimoto’s Yumi Chair II that brings these beautiful, delicate sweeps of bent wood together into a rather imposing, throne-like chair and the initially understated, clean lines of Kristina Madsen’s Jewelry Cabinet that’s intricately adorned with a very elegant, consistent and beautiful hand-carved motif are among the many that I remember. It was all stunning.