In Interviews

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Vivian Chiu 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 was such an incredible experience to be a part of. It was a chance to finally meet the community of extraordinary female woodworkers that I’ve heard about for so long. To be able to talk about craft and woodworking through the lens of a female woodworker and share our experiences in the arts was invigorating. I felt seen and heard as an emerging artist, and it was such an honor to be shown alongside much more experienced artists in the field. I hope this exhibition was able to inspire and embolden a new generation of female woodworkers as I would have loved to see it when I was younger.

What advice would you give your younger self about getting into woodworking?
Beware of scale! I worked for Ursula von Rydingsvard as a studio assistant for years and she always told me to beware of scale because the repercussions of storage and transportation. Unfortunately some works just needed to be large and I only regret a little that I made an 8 foot by 8 foot wooden blanket.

Also, do not lend people your tools.

Which piece in the exhibition stood out the most to you?
The piece that stood out to me the most was Yuri Kobyashi’s ‘Believing’. Yuri was my first woodworking professor back at RISD where I did my undergraduate degree and I have always admired her work. To watch her assemble the piece and see it in person was even more astonishing. I also enjoyed Laura Kishimoto’s ‘Yumi Chair II’. Laura was at RISD when I was there and I am so impressed and amazed that she has been able to perfect the process to create such a stunning piece.

Click here to visit Vivian Chiu’s website

Click here to learn more about Making a Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking

Click here to learn more about the exhibition at The Center For Art In Wood, running through January 25th.

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