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The Furni­ture Society Board of Trustees consists of up to 22 members at any given time, as provided in the orga­ni­za­tion’s charter. Trustees serve for a term of 3 years, and may serve two consec­u­tive terms. Candi­dates for open­ings on the board are consid­ered by the Nomi­nat­ing Commit­tee, and voted on by the full board. Trustees who have completed their term(s) usually continue to serve by invi­ta­tion on the Advisory Board.

Offi­cers of the board are elected by the full board and include Pres­i­dent, Vice-Pres­i­dent, Trea­surer, and Secre­tary. These office­hold­ers form the Exec­u­tive Commit­tee. Retir­ing Pres­i­dents are invited to serve one addi­tional active year on the board in the posi­tion of Past President.

The Board of Trustees is composed of member volun­teers who give their time and expe­ri­ence to guide the Society in the fulfill­ment of its mission. Meet­ings of the full Board occur twice during the year. Any member of The Furni­ture Society is eligi­ble to be consid­ered for nomi­na­tion as a Trustee.

Current Furniture Society Trustees

Officers

Offi­cers are elected annu­ally and consti­tute the orga­ni­za­tion’s Executive Committee.

Joined 2018

Karen Ernst

Board President
Edinboro, PA

Karen Ernst is a Profes­sor in the Art Depart­ment at Edin­boro Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, where she has been teach­ing wood­work­ing and furni­ture design since 2004. Orig­i­nally from East Aurora, NY, she received a B.A. in Studio Art from SUNY Geneseo, and her M.F.A in Furni­ture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. She main­tains an active studio prac­tice, exhibit­ing the furni­ture and sculp­tural objects she makes across the U.S. She has been a member of the Furni­ture Society since 2002.

K Hall
Joined 2020

Kathryn Hall

Vice President
New York, NY

Kathryn Hall is Curator at Houston Center for Contem­po­rary Craft (HCCC) in Houston, Texas, where she is respon­si­ble for devel­op­ing and over­see­ing exhi­bi­tions and related program­ming. She previ­ously served as the Windgate Cura­to­r­ial Fellow at HCCC from 2012 to 2015. Kathryn received a BA in Art History from Wofford College and an MA in Art History from the Univer­sity of Georgia. She is a scholar of contem­po­rary craft and material culture.

https://​kathrynfhall​.com/

Abby Mechanic
Joined 2021

Abby Mechanic

Secretary
Matawan, NJ

Abby Mechanic received her BFA from the Maine College of Art with a concen­tra­tion in Wood­work­ing and Furni­ture Design. After grad­u­at­ing, she worked in various design studios, such as Luur Design, Nate Berkus, and Matter Prac­tice. Mechanic then spent seven years working at Parsons School of Design, where she began as a Part-Time Tech­ni­cian and later became the Asso­ciate Direc­tor of the Making Center. She now works at Peters Valley School of Craft as the Educa­tion Direc­tor. In her down­time, she travels around the country teach­ing spoon carving and expand­ing the field of woodworking.

https://​www​.abbyme​chanic​.com/

Leonard Headshot
Joined 2022

Zeke Leonard

Treasurer
Syracuse, NY

Zeke Leonard is the Asso­ciate Direc­tor of the Syra­cuse Univer­sity School of Design, as well as being the coor­di­na­tor of the School of Design’s First Year Expe­ri­ence. His research involves the role of social respon­si­bil­ity and envi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship in contex­tu­ally-rele­vant design and fabri­ca­tion prac­tices. Central to his work is the re-purpos­ing of discarded mate­ri­als and objects in ways that inspire conver­sa­tion and call commu­ni­ties to action. Zeke regu­larly part­ners with commu­nity groups and orga­ni­za­tions to find ways to put local resources to better use. 

He has written about his research-based design prac­tices in The Inte­rior Archi­tec­ture Theory Reader’ (Rout­ledge, Gregory Marinic, Ed.), and has published in jour­nals as varied as Int/​AR: Inter­ven­tion and Adap­tive Reuse and Anthro­pol­ogy News. He previ­ously taught at RISD and NYU, and is a regular visit­ing instruc­tor at insti­tu­tions includ­ing the Haystack Moun­tain School of Craft and the Arrow­mont School of Arts and Crafts. Exam­ples of his wood work are in the collec­tions of the Worker’s Arts and Heritage Society in Hamil­ton, Ontario, The Mystic Seaport Museum, and the Maine Culi­nary Archive. Zeke holds an MFA in Furni­ture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA in Set Design from the Univer­sity of North Carolina School of the Arts.

https://​zekeleonard​.com/​h​ome.h…

Trustees

Trustees are elected for three-year terms and may be re-elected to a second three-year term.

Joined 2020

Joshua Enck

Rochester, NY

Joshua Enck (born 1977) is a sculp­tor, designer, drafts­man, and illus­tra­tor who teaches and main­tains an active studio prac­tice in Rochester, New York. He trained as an archi­tect and a furni­ture designer, receiv­ing his MFA in furni­ture design from the Rhode Island School of Design and his BSAS from the School of Archi­tec­ture at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois. He taught for ten years at RISD: drawing, three-dimen­sional design, tech­ni­cal drawing, wood­work­ing, and metal­work­ing. He has also taught wood­work­ing at the Ander­son Ranch Arts Center and drawing at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois, Williams College, and the Univer­sity of Rochester. Joshua has exhib­ited his work in solo shows at Simon Gallery, the Univer­sity of Maine Museum of Art, and Space Gallery. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, and the Center for Art in Wood in Philadel­phia have honored his work. Joshua recently returned from five months in India as a Fulbright Nehru Scholar, research­ing tradi­tional metal­smithing and teach­ing at the Sushant School of Design.

https://​www​.joshuaenck​.com/

Joined 2023

Annie Evelyn

Richmond, VA

Joy, laugh­ter, and the unex­pected are at the heart of Annie Evelyn’s work. Employ­ing a range of mate­ri­als and processes, Evelyn uses furniture’s inher­ent inter­ac­tive qual­i­ties and rela­tion­ships with the human body to create new and surpris­ing expe­ri­ences. From 2014 – 2017 Evelyn was a resi­dent artist at the Penland School of Craft in North Carolina and in 2016 was awarded The John D. Mineck Furni­ture Fellow­ship. She received both her BFA and MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Evelyn is an Assis­tant profes­sor of Furni­ture in the Craft and Mate­r­ial Studies depart­ment at Virginia Common­wealth Univer­sity. She has also taught at RISD, Cali­for­nia College of the Arts, Parsons — The New School, Haystack Moun­tain School, Penland School of Craft, and others. Evelyn has been working to create commu­nity through­out her artis­tic prac­tice, mentor­ing teens, teach­ing art and uphol­stery in commu­nity and youth centers, as well as putting on arts-based events across the country. In 2019 she co-founded Craft­ing the Future with a dedi­cated group of artists from the Penland School of Craft to address the glaring lack of racial and ethnic diver­sity in art, craft, and design.

http://​annieeve​lyn​.com/

Joined 2023

Sophie Glenn

Reading, PA

Sophie Glenn is a metal­worker and furni­ture maker currently based in Reading, PA. She makes classic furni­ture designs recre­ated out of steel to give voice to women in both the wood­work­ing and metal fields, and she utilizes steel in the making of her work to explic­itly expand upon the mate­ri­als that are consid­ered to be part of the fine furni­ture making field.

Sophie received her MFA in Furni­ture Design and Wood­work­ing from San Diego State Univer­sity, and BFA in Sculp­ture and Drawing from SUNY Purchase College. She has exhib­ited her work across the country, includ­ing Blue Spiral 1 Gallery (NC), the Center for Art in Wood (PA), and the Metal Museum (TN), and has been fortu­nate to receive several grants, fellow­ships, and resi­den­cies to help advance her career, includ­ing the John D. Mineck Fellow­ship in 2022. Sophie has held acad­e­mic appoint­ments at Tennessee Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity and Missis­sippi State Univer­sity, and taught work­shops at A Work­shop of Our Own (MD), Arrow­mont School of Arts and Crafts (TN), the Appalachian Center for Craft (TN), and Haystack Moun­tain School of Crafts (ME).

https://​sophieglenn​.com/

Joined 2023

Aspen Golann

Berwick, ME

Aspen Golann is a furni­ture maker, artist and educa­tor whose work explores gender and power through the manip­u­la­tion of iconic Amer­i­can furni­ture forms. Trained as a 17th-19th century wood­worker, Aspen engages the moral complex­ity of repro­duc­tion furni­ture by appro­pri­at­ing the aesthet­ics and anti­quar­ian processes of early America to illus­trate racial, gender and social injus­tice endemic to the time. She holds a degree in furni­ture making from The North Bennet Street School and has been published in Archi­tec­tural Digest, Amer­i­can Craft, Fine Wood­work­ing and others. She has received the Award in Craft from the Maxwell Hanra­han Foun­da­tion, The Mineck Fellow­ship, as well as fellow­ships from the Windgate Foun­da­tion, United Artists, Winterthur Museum, and Center for Furni­ture Crafts­man­ship. Aspen main­tains an active teach­ing prac­tice — she teaches in the furni­ture depart­ment at The Rhode Island School of Design, and teaches work­shops on wood­work­ing inter­na­tion­ally. In 2020, with the help of the Mineck Fellow­ship, founded The Chair­mak­ers Toolbox — a project that provides free tools, educa­tion, and mentor­ship for BIPOC, gender expan­sive and female chair & tool­mak­ers seeking to build sustain­able busi­nesses. In support of the project, she has part­nered with Winterthur Museum, Fine Wood­work­ing Maga­zine, A Work­shop of Our Own, The Furni­ture Society and chair­mak­ers around the country. Most recently, Aspen has received a Windgate resi­dency in the wood/​furniture design program at
San Diego State Univer­sity and a Crit­i­cal Craft Fellow­ship at Winterthur Museum to explore the phys­i­cal and social history of the Windsor chair.

www​.aspen​golann​.com

www​.thechair​mak​er​stool​box​.com

Joined 2022

Don Miller

Philadelphia, PA

Don Miller is a Philadel­phia wood­worker and educa­tor. He holds a BA in German from the Univer­sity of Kansas and an MFA in 3D Design from the Univer­sity of Wiscon­sin- Madison. He attended the London College of Furni­ture Early Stringed Instru­ment program. Miller retired as an Asso­ciate Profes­sor in Craft + Mate­r­ial Studies at the Univer­sity of the Arts in 2020 and was previ­ously a Lecturer in Furni­ture Design at Rhode Island School of Design. He has also taught classes at Ander­son Ranch Arts Center in Snow­mass, CO and Steneby Skolan, Dals Langed Sweden and served as visit­ing artist at San Diego State Univer­sity and Herron School of Art and Design. He has been a resi­dent artist at Steneby and Dong A Univer­sity in Busan, South Korea. Miller’s work has been shown in national and inter­na­tional venues. He main­tains a studio/​workshop in German­town, PA.

Joined 2024

Mark Tan

Tempe, Arizona

Mark Tan is a first-gener­a­tion Cana­dian born and raised in Toronto by Filipino immi­grants. He produces inter­ac­tive sculp­tures made from reclaimed solid wood, found mate­ri­als, and domes­tic construc­tion build­ing mate­ri­als at an archi­tec­tural scale. His work expresses the emotional value of precon­ceived notions, longing, and discon­nect­ed­ness in seeking accep­tance within a community.

He received his MFA in Furni­ture Design & Wood­work­ing in the Craft/​Material Studies program at Virginia Common­wealth Univer­sity in Rich­mond, VA. His work has been exhib­ited inter­na­tion­ally at exhi­bi­tions such as the Mesa Contem­po­rary Arts Museum in Mesa, AZ, Hillyer Contem­po­rary in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Messler Gallery in Rock­port, ME., Patter­son-Apple­ton Gallery in Denton, TX., Fuller Craft Museum in Brock­ton, MA., Wharton Esher­ick Museum in Malvern, PA., Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, CO., and the DeLeon White Gallery at the Glad­stone in Toronto, ON. He has partic­i­pated in resi­den­cies at Arrow­mont School of Arts & Crafts and the Windgate Artist in Resi­dence at San Diego State Univer­sity. He is currently an Assis­tant Profes­sor of Sculpture/​Wood at Arizona State University.

https://​www​.insta​gram​.com/nint…

Katie Thompson
Joined 2019

Katie Thompson

Eutawville, SC

Katie Thomp­son is an inde­pen­dent artist, author, creative consul­tant and speaker based outside of Charleston, SC. She is a disabled mother of two, and wife and partner to fine furni­ture­maker Joseph Thomp­son. They live and work out of their home and shop in the swamps of the Lowcountry.

Katie’s work as Design Partner with Joseph Thomp­son Wood­works has been featured in publi­ca­tions such as Furni­ture & Cabi­net­mak­ing maga­zine, Charleston Maga­zine, and has been exhib­ited widely at craft shows, Museums, and galleries. She is also an instruc­tor at the Charleston Woodworking School.

In 2013 Katie started Black Swamp as a line of natu­rally inspired hand­crafted jewelry, art, home décor and acces­sories made using recy­cled wood offcuts from the furni­ture making process. 

Her ongoing project the Women of Wood­work­ing series features some of the craft’s most talented arti­sans from around the globe. A prolific writer, Katie is the author of a 2016 children’s book Little Beaver Builds a Bed and is currently working on a second children’s book project (2019). Her latest project, Pen & Chisel, a monthly digital journal for wood­work­ers, artists, and makers launched, explor­ing orig­i­nal stories from change-making voices in the craft and trades. 

Katie is proudly disabled and lives with multi­ple neuro­log­i­cal condi­tions. She suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of 18 and expe­ri­enced compli­ca­tions with surgery and contracted bacte­r­ial menin­gi­tis. She received a spinal fusion a few years later and now has eight tita­nium screws and two rods support­ing her thoracic and lumbar spine. She went on to grad­u­ate from the College of Charleston in 2009 with a B.A. in Commu­ni­ca­tions with a focus on Commu­ni­ca­tion Theory. Katie uses her chronic health condi­tions to make a posi­tive impact by advo­cat­ing and sharing her expe­ri­ences with others.

https://​ktthomp​son​.com/

Sarah Turner
Joined 2020

Sarah Turner

Boston, MA

Sarah Turner is an artist and educa­tor trained in the North­west, refined in the Midwest and now based in Boston. She is the Pres­i­dent of North Bennet Street School.

As an educa­tor, working from both the office and the studio, Sarah has also worked at the Cran­brook Academy of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Oregon College of Art and Craft, and the State Univer­sity of New York at New Paltz. As the Dean at Cran­brook, Sarah directed the Acad­e­mic Programs of the Academy and estab­lished a Crit­i­cal Studies + Human­i­ties resi­den­tial teach­ing fellow­ship. She has lectured widely, regu­larly serves as a guest critic, and has orga­nized exhi­bi­tions on contem­po­rary applied art in the US and abroad. In 2005, Sarah was awarded a Fulbright Fellow­ship to the Nether­lands to research Dutch contem­po­rary applied art.

In addi­tion to her work in educa­tion, Sarah main­tains a low-produc­tion studio. Her work has been included in exhi­bi­tions nation­ally and internationally. 

Sarah has been a volun­teer and advisor for a variety of orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing the South­east Michi­gan Fulbright Asso­ci­a­tion, the Vermont YWCA, the Art Jewelry Forum, the Society of North Amer­i­can Gold­smiths, and the Inter­na­tional (dis)Organization of Recent Art-Grad­u­ates Apply­ing for Teach­ing and Grants [I(d)RAGTAG].

https://​www​.sarah​turn​er​pro​jects​.com/

https://​www​.nbss​.edu/

Joined 2024

Chelsea Witt

New Jersey

Chelsea Witt is an artist and educa­tor working in both wood and ink. Currently based in New Jersey, Chelsea has a sculp­ture degree from the Univer­sity of South Florida and is a grad­u­ate of the Furni­ture Inten­sive at the Center for Furni­ture Crafts­man­ship. Chelsea has worked for and studied with artist/​makers such as Alexis Dold, Tyler Hays, Christina Boy, Aaron Fedarko, Tim Rousseau, and David Upfill-Brown. Chelsea has taught at Penland School of Craft, Haystack Moun­tain School of Craft, Peters Valley School of Craft and the Center for Furni­ture Crafts­man­ship. Chelsea currently teaches 3D design and wood­work­ing at Moorestown Friends School, is the Educa­tion Chair for the Chair­Mak­ers Toolbox, and works for both the Furni­ture Society and A Work­shop of Our Own.

My prior­ity when teach­ing is to include the excluded and push the bound­aries of​“the norm” in a wood­shop. My prior­ity as an artist is to explore and push the bound­aries of emotional and mental health.”

@littleforestswontdo

https://​furnsoc​.org/​d​i​r​e​c​tory/…

https://​www​.chelseacari​nawitt​.com/

Joined 2019

Ryan Zimmerman

Rochester, NY

Ryan Zimmer­man is a recent grad­uate of the Rochester Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, in the Furni­ture Design program. Born and raised in Erie, Penn­syl­va­nia, he received his BFA from Edin­boro Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia in 2017, with a concen­tra­tion in Wood/​Furniture Design and minors in print­mak­ing and sculp­ture. Leaving under­grad, he completed an intern­ship at Ander­son Ranch Arts Center in the furni­ture program. His work explores the arche­type of furni­ture, while ques­tion­ing its func­tion­al­ity. Currently working with both wood and clay, the forms he gener­ates are designed and built consid­er­ing systems of repe­ti­tion and progres­sion, as well as mate­r­ial limi­ta­tions and ambi­gu­ity. rzim​mer​man​wood​work​.com


Student Representatives

Cleo Lewis
Joined 2022

Cleo Lewis

Richmond, VA

Cleo Lewis was born and raised in Cary, North Carolina and spent time in Alexan­dria, Virginia and Accra, Ghana. Their natural sense of creativ­ity and inqui­si­tion lead them to pursu­ing a BFA in Sculp­ture and a minor in Craft at Virginia Common­wealth Univer­sity. While at VCU they fell in love with the medium of wood. They now make sculp­tural furni­ture that explores the inter­sec­tion of black femi­nin­ity in an attempt to connect with others that share this inter­sec­tion of iden­ti­ties. Much of their work has been influ­enced by ideas and prac­tices of femi­nin­ity in the places they have grown up.

Jan Rybczynski
Joined 2022

Jan Rybczynski

Providence, RI

Jan Rybczyn­ski (yawn rib-chin-ski, he/​him/​his) is a multi-disci­pli­nary artist currently enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design study­ing Furni­ture Design with a concen­tra­tion in Nature, Culture, and Sustain­abil­ity Studies. Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Jan holds a deep appre­ci­a­tion for the beauty within the natural world in all of its subtle complex­ity. Span­ning across furni­ture, sculp­ture, and beyond, his work is inspired by the phys­i­cal attrib­utes of the nine biomes of Earth and the beings which inhabit them, and employs mate­ri­als that lend them­selves to the crafts­man­ship and phys­i­cal process required to work them. His result­ing work provokes the limits of mate­r­ial and process, drawing out the harmo­nious rela­tion­ship between craft and the inher­ent beauty of the envi­ron­ment. Through contin­ued explo­ration, Jan aims to build a sustain­able prac­tice which meshes mate­r­ial, process, and historical/​cultural context — a struc­ture which will allow him to create work while treat­ing the envi­ron­ment with kind­ness and respect, make room for the life­long study of craft, and explore modal­i­ties of service and commu­nity within and around his work.