In Interviews

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We’re interviewing makers from all 50 states. Today we’re featuring Massood and Sasha Nouri, a father-daughter woodturning duo from Washington. 

How did you get started woodworking? Who were your mentors?
My father spent his childhood in Iran and was inspired by his big brother. When he was only seven, his brother gave him several old nails that were all bent and unusable. And my dad straightened them, one by one, with a hammer and a rock. He was gifted a hand saw for his eighth birthday and learn to cut pieces of wood. His passion for working with wood grew from there. As for me, my dad was my mentor. Growing up, I would watch him build furniture in our garage in his spare time. He got into woodturning when I was a teenager and he introduced me to it when I was in college. I was immediately hooked!

What do you think is your best or favorite work? What kind of work do you do the most?
Our favorite works tend to be when we are able to salvage wood from trees that have been cut down. Our bowls with a live edge or bowls that are unique in their natural characteristics are our favorite! And, of course, we love a good burl.

What advice would you give to someone that wants to start woodworking or pursue it as a profession?
It’s one of the most rewarding hobbies—woodworking is an amazing way to connect with nature. Our advice is to learn it from the masters first. If you can afford to take classes at your local woodturning chapters, we suggest that. If you’re on a budget, watch YouTube videos or read articles. Do not rush to buy a lot of equipment until you gradually learn what tools are best. Essentially, be informed, learn from the masters, and practice makes perfect.

What’s your best hands-on tip or woodworking technique?
Two important tips—protect your body and take your time! Do not rush, you will be prone to making mistakes.

Is there anyone you’d like to shout-out or recommend we follow? Who inspires you? (Doesn’t have to be woodworking related, either.)
We are inspired by many—two woodturners that we admire are David Ellsworth and Malcolm Tibbets (@tahoeturner). We also adore Anne Briggs (@anneofalltrades), she is a fantastic person and a talented woodworker.

See more of Massood & Sasha’s work on their website or on Instagram @underthechestnuttree

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