Laura Kishimoto 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?
This exhibition is important to me because it was so groundbreaking. When Laura and Deirdre announced at the opening that they had chosen the timing of the show to coincide with the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, I felt tears come to my eyes. As a female woodworker in a male dominated field I am often acutely aware of my gender. At shows, men often mistake me for a curious student. At woodworking retail stores, sales reps assume I am the girlfriend of a customer. But through woodworking I have discovered a powerful voice that has become integral to my sense of self.
What advice would you give your younger self about getting into woodworking?
I would tell my younger self not to blindly trust those who speak with confidence and authority. And to create space for myself rather waiting for a space to open up.
Which piece in the exhibition stood out the most to you?
The piece that stood out most to me was Leslie Webb’s ash rocking chair. Most of my work is very elaborate so I greatly admire artists who are able to pare down all unnecessary elements and create beautifully minimalist furniture. The frame and caning created an absolutely stunning effect.
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