Katie Hudnall 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?
For one thing, the quality and breadth of the work in this show is incredible – I would say that this is the best woodworking exhibition I’ve ever been a part of. Just seeing my work amongst so many great pieces is important to me. The age range and strength of work from younger makers is also fantastic. I hope it will make people question their assumptions about what a woodworker looks like.
What advice would you give your younger self about getting into woodworking?
Be tenacious. Make all the time, everywhere, as much as you can with whatever materials and tools you have. Don’t be defensive, listen to feedback. Stay in touch with folks who are kind to you. Ask for help when you need it. Wear better socks. Really good wool ones. Some people can work when they’re cold, you can’t. Also, long underwear is a thing. (I grew up in Virginia – the midwestern transition was hard, I was very cold for a while)
Which piece in the exhibition stood out the most to you?
This is really hard. Laura Kishimoto’s chair is absolutely arresting. Stops you dead. Kate Davidson’s desk is so playful you can ignore how darned tricky it is to make drawers with curved sides for a minute. I’ve only seen Christine Lee and Yuri Kobayashi’s works in person once or twice before, and the details are stunning. Both play with negative space in the most amazing ways. Annie Evelyn’s piece just gets more delightful the closer you get (that cluster of flower/spindles on the back – gah!). I’ve never seen Kristina Madsen’s work in person, holy heck. And so many super clean pieces I wish I were capable of making – Katrina Tompkins’ ash chair, or Sarah Watlington’s walnut chair are great examples of work that marries a contemporary feel with beautiful, traditional joinery and form.