See How This Furniture Artisan Makes Woodworking Equitable For All


Aspen Golann at workshop

candle holder with wood and metal by Aspen Golann

Aspen Golann’s passion for woodworking was cemented after completing a two-year traditional trade program at Boston’s North Bennet Street School. Today her furnishings, made by hand in her New Hampshire studio, are prized by collectors and will even be on view at Winterthur’s spring show, Transformations, alongside contemporary works. Furthermore, through her teachings at Rhode Island School of Design and founding of The Chairmaker’s Toolbox, Golann is committed to championing equity in the industry. Here, she gives the scoop on everything about her educational initiative.

Getting started: I was always a crafty person and eventually decided, I am interested in expressing my artistic instincts. The trade program gave me the technical mastery to tell my story.

All are welcome: I started The Chairmaker’s Toolbox to provide educational opportunities for learning traditional, sustainable techniques which have been removed from mainstream furniture production. We’re growing the future of green woodworking (the practice of using unseasoned wood) and seeing a lot of interest in workshops that teach classic methods. Our hope is to create a place for everyone, including historically excluded makers.

Good will: Our teachers are volunteers, and our classes are free. We aren’t grant funded, so we’ve relied on educational partners like Winterthur, who have given us teaching space.

Roll call: Alumni of the project include Fernanda Barretto, Audi Culver, Katrina Tompkins, Wu Hanyen, Charles Thompson and Chelsea Witt.

Photos Courtesy Loam Marketing