Katherine Edmonds (b. 1981, Atlanta GA) is a craftsperson, designer and educator based in Corvallis, OR. She has a BA in Biology from Rhodes College, a MA in Ecology from University of Georgia. She also has an extensive design and traditional craft education. Recently, Katherine completed a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, from Oregon State University, with a focus on design and is a graduate of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship furniture intensive. Additionally, she has attended continuing education classes at Anderson Ranch and Port Townsend Wood School. To further her knowledge in traditional woodworking, she apprenticed with two master furniture makers, spending a year working with Richard Shrader, in Athens, Georgia and a year working with Pat Megowan in Corvallis, Oregon. She is also an alumni of the crew at Oneta Woodworks and spent a few years building out local bars, restaurants and breweries.
Katherine has had over 35 different jobs, doing her best to sample the job market, she has mostly worked in some form of education, including ski instruction, whitewater kayaking guide, college professor, preschool teacher and of course woodworking instructor. Recently learning to fully embrace her neurodivergence and kinesthetic learning and living style, she has once again returned to the physicality of craft. She has taught in both the Art and Design Program in the College of Forestry and the Design Program in the School of Engineering as a graduate teaching assistant. Currently, she teaches classes and mentors students at Highland Woodshop, which she co-operates with her two other business partners. With this strong foundation, her designs, furniture, and products combine traditional joinery with modern clean lines, creating contemporary pieces with traditional roots.
I use design and woodworking as a way to explore connection, connection with others, connection with the natural world, connection with creativity and connection to my own body. The modern world leaves many of us disconnected from our communities, our creativity, nature, and even our own bodies. I investigate my interest of connection mainly through traditional woodworking techniques, but I also employ metal working, drawing, and other mediums, including digital design.
The physicality of making allows me to explore the world as a neurodivergent person in a way that works well for my brain and body, as it brings me in direct connection with the material and my body, and ultimately others. The permanence of my craft allows for an extended connection with others, allowing an unspoken conversation to slowly unfurl in the background, creating a deeper connection. Additionally, my physical experiences with the natural world will often find their way into my designs, which always expands my knowledge about ecological and biological processes.
I love experimenting with new materials and techniques to expand my knowledge base as a craftsperson. Currently, I am particularly interested in marquetry and pyrography as techniques to bring the inspiration I receive into my work.