Born in 1942, in Seattle, Washington, Mira Nakashima is the daughter of the master craftsman and woodworker, George Nakashima. After her father’s death in 1990, Mira took over as Creative Director at his studio, George Nakashima Woodworkers, located in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Mira has kept the primary beliefs and process that her father started, but has added in her own creative design and style. With over forty years in the studio, Mira’s relationship and knowledge of the wood qualities is exemplified through each of her pieces.
As a baby, Mira and her family, along with all Japanese Americans at that time, were relocated to Minidoka War Relocation Authority camp in Hunt, Idaho after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Once released, George Nakashima moved his family to the rural areas of Pennsylvania where he set down roots and built their home and his woodworking studio. It was there, in New Hope, that Mira grew up and still lives to this day. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture at Harvard University in 1963, Mira continued on to earn a Master of Architecture at Waseda University in Tokyo. In 1970, Mira was hired by her father to work in the studio with him and learned how to build his designs. After George Nakashima passed in 1990, Mira seamlessly continued on his legacy and continued producing his designs along with her own. In her Keisho Collection, which in Japanese translates to continuance, you can see her father’s influence with her added delicacy.
In 1995, Mira continued her father’s plans of building peace altars in all seven continents and was commissioned to design and construct the second peace altar for Russia, and in 1996 the third for Auroville, India. The ability to use manual labor without mass production continues to bring attention and appeal to their furniture.