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Mira Nakashima

Mira Nakashima finds inspiration in her woodpile, two buildings filled to the top not just with boards, but fillets of trees. These slices of walnut, cherry and other species – with their grains, shapes and imperfections – will in due course become the refined furniture that is unmistakably Nakashima.

Nakashima is the only daughter of Japanese American woodworker George Nakashima, widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s most important furniture designers. Born in 1942, Nakashima spent much of her youth in her father’s workshop in New Hope, Pennsylvania. After studying architecture at Harvard and then at Waseda University in Tokyo, Nakashima became an integral addition to her father’s studio. When he died in 1990, she not only inherited his woodpile, but also his legacy of exceptional craftsmanship and design focused on emphasizing the woodworker’s responsibility to the sacrificed tree.

Nakashima has continued a way of working that concentrates on individual pieces of wood and celebrates each imperfection as a sign of life. She has taken the studio’s traditional designs to a new artistic level, gracefully interpreting the destiny of each tree.