The foundation of the modern craft of woodworking was built long ago. It’s rich, ancient history is something that draws a lot of makers to the craft. Some even make whole careers out of exploring it’s antiquity.
However, the culture of modern woodworking could not be sustained without the generous nurturers of creativity, the dedicated leadership of teachers, and the open sharing of knowledge by passionate craftspersons. Fortunately for this generation of woodworkers, Laura Mays encompasses all of those things.
Laura’s full-time position as the program director at The Krenov School places her guidance at the helm of many woodworkers’ careers. Her recent contribution to Fine Woodworking Magazine’s discussion on the education of design explains her approach to creativity as a practice and woodworking as an equitable craft for all to enjoy.
She began her own personal journey in the craft in 1995. “I did a course in Ireland, in Letterfrack, county Galway. A two year course in Furniture Design and Manufacture. I fell head over heels for woodworking,” she shares.
Laura was born and raised in Ireland, but now resides in Fort Bragg, California, where she moved seven years ago.
When asked what her favorite tool was, she replied, “As a woodworker it would have to be my little Lie Nielsen block plane – with a block plane you can make more planes, wooden planes of any size or shape! And as a teacher, it’s my pencil, definitely. You can explain almost anything with a pencil.”
When it comes to favorite works of art, she shared, “Tons of things, hard to pick a favorite…Perhaps, Waiting for Godot, the play by Samuel Beckett. Right now I’m listening to Schubert a lot.”
To view more of Laura’s work or get in touch: