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Laura Mays

Mentor + Portfolio Reviewer

Lead Instructor and Program Director at The Krenov School

Laura Mays

Laura Mays is an Irish woodworker, designer, and educator. She is the Lead Instructor and Program Director at The Krenov School, Mendocino College, in Fort Bragg CA, since 2011.

Trained originally as an architect, Laura gravitated towards woodworking as a more holistic and engaging practice. She studied architecture at University College Dublin, Furniture Design and Manufacture at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Letterfrack), a Masters in Design at the National College of Art and Design (Ireland), and woodworking at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program in Fort Bragg CA (now The Krenov School). She has taught at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Ireland), the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (ME), and Penland (NC). She has exhibited in the USA and Ireland, and has work in private collections in both countries. She has a piece in the collection of the National Museum of Ireland.

In 2019, she co-curated 'Making a Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking’ at The Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia. She is a contributor to the forthcoming book: (author Deirdre Visser) Joinery, Joists and Gender: A Woodworking History for the 21st Century (Routledge 2022).

She is the founding president of The Krenov Foundation, and remains on its Board.


  • Woodworking education, both as a learner and a teacher.

  • Working towards woodworking being a relevant, diverse, and inclusive activity

  • The place of craftsmanship in the meaning and value of objects aka, making things that matter

  • Good books about and around woodworking

  • How to start a project and how to keep going to the next one


Conference Sessions