For my thesis, I have made a body of furniture that investigates the relationship between my design process, and how it informs the technique, character, and aesthetics of the work. Through woodworking, I have investigated form and its importance the character in my furniture practice. From hand shaped solid wood, to lightweight volumetric forms, I have developed a language that explores the role of line, space, symmetry, structure, and material. I am influenced by the natural beauty of botanical forms, the line and repetition of boat building practices, the innovation and craftsmanship of furniture, and the spontaneity of sculpture. Each piece explores an amount of my devotion to furniture making and its role in my process of sketching, drawing, designing, and creating work.
The study as a whole is directly influenced by my lifestyle and life choices as an artist devoted to woodworking. I’ve decided to spend my life designing and making furniture. I find the field of furniture design intriguing because it’s a way use woodworking and design to show the world my interpretation of furniture. Making my own artistic work based on my life allows me to clarify those life experiences, expand, and find rationale for day to day thinking as it relates to my work.
Throughout the study, I was confronted with the meaning of my process, and learning how the ability to manipulate it will really impact what I make. The initial goal of this thesis was to have a thorough personal investigation of form and technique through furniture making. I wanted to understand why I am attracted to organic, recurved, volumes and shapes, and how that relates to my desire to use specific woodworking techniques such as shaping with hand tools, or laminating veneer strips to make volumes. However, throughout physically making the body of work, that intention evolved into a larger and much more intimate study. I certainly investigated form and technique, but more importantly it became clear that I needed to gain an understanding of my own design process to have better control of the outcome of my work. Part of the process that I am trying to understand is deciding what to make, what truly inspires me and why, and what audience my work speaks to.
Furniture Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CIAS)
Hopkins, Carter, "An Investigation of Process, Form, and Technique" (2017). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus