During our Monday morning studio meeting, our Senior Designer in Design Implementation, Steve Johnson, provided breakfast (mmmm…chocolate milk) and a brief presentation on the life and work of woodworker, George Nakashima.
Nakashima was a Japanese-American architect turned studio furniture maker and was considered a seminal woodworker and leader in the 20th century American Craft Movement. We viewed a slide presentation showing examples of Nakashima’s beautiful work, which is legendary for its use of the natural forms of the tree. His furniture is organic in shape, using plain sawn boards with rough natural edges, inherent figured grain and incorporate his signature butterfly joinery adding support to natural cracks and crevices in the wood.
We’ve been seeing a lot of raw wood elements used in modern furniture and fixture designs today. The whole studio was intrigued to discover the roots of the trend.
We also had a chance to see a copy of the book, Nature Form & Spirit—The Life and Legacy of George Nakashima, authored by his daughter, Mira Nakashima, (hardcover, Harry N. Abrams, 2003), who continues the tradition of making beautiful lines of wood furniture at the George Nakashima Studio.