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Alicia Profile

Over a decade ago, I traded a pilot helmet for hand plane, follow­ing my passion for craft after a ten-year career as an officer and Black­hawk Heli­copter Main­te­nance Test Pilot in the U.S. Army. I served in Iraq and have been stationed all over the world, includ­ing Germany, Alaska, and Egypt. While seem­ingly two differ­ent areas of exper­tise, my career in the Army unex­pect­edly prepared me to design and build. The disci­pline neces­sary to command soldiers and to test broken heli­copters has trans­lated into an astute atten­tion to detail and an unwa­ver­ing work ethic.

Craft, labor, dedi­ca­tion, and learn­ing were the corner­stones of my personal ethos in the mili­tary. These same char­ac­ter­is­tics are exem­pli­fied in my pursuit of craft. Some people find it an odd jump to go from heli­copter pilot to studio furni­ture maker. But many of the same prin­ci­pals apply. In the mili­tary, you learn to plan in both overview and specific detail. And then you execute. Yet, no plan survives first contact. So you eval­u­ate your situ­a­tion based on previ­ous knowl­edge and on what your experts are advis­ing you, make changes, dissem­i­nate that infor­ma­tion, and the execute again. I find this to be true in my studio – this process of eval­u­a­tion and action, time and time again, leads to projects and pieces more informed than the last. It is this constant cycle that allows me to eval­u­ate what I’ve just done in order to produce ever-evolving work.

Always looking for a new exper­i­ment, I find the journey of the creative process its own reward. For the past several years, I’ve been inves­ti­gat­ing the inter­sec­tion of wood and concrete, a surface I feel I’ve only begun to scratch. Wood is tech­ni­cal and precise and requires exact­ing atten­tion. Concrete is fluid, both in mate­r­ial and in mindset. You can control it up to a point, and then it does what it wants. Moving between the two mate­ri­als keeps ideas flowing.

I am part of a group of profes­sion­als who are making our mark, exper­i­ment­ing with tech­niques, sustain­ing a busi­ness, construct­ing furni­ture, and build­ing a commu­nity. I’m a woman who’s carving a path, craft­ing a living, and making a differ­ence. I am proud to be part of a larger group of women who serve as inspi­ra­tion and empow­er­ment – and do so with grit and grace.

I earned a BSJ in Advertising/​Journalism from Ohio Univer­sity in 2001 and two Wood­work­ing and Furni­ture Making Degrees from Vermont Wood­work­ing School in 2012 and 2013

I completed my MFA in Craft and Mate­r­ial Studies at VCU (Virginia Common­wealth Virginia) in 2016

I live and work in Rich­mond, Virginia.

Richmond, VA
Wood and concrete
Professional Status
Professional designer & maker