Laura Karcher


I discovered my passion for woodworking through an apprenticeship at Hana Shoji, a small shoji screen-making shop in Alameda, California. I had worked as an illustrator, photographer, and graphic designer, but woodworking let me join my formal graphic design experience with a desire for dynamic, physical, creative work. Building on shoji-focused wood-crafting skills, I started a custom furniture and cabinetry business in the San Francisco Bay area. Moving to the Methow Valley in 2004 introduced me to unlimited wilderness and new resources for creative work in the form of piles of rusting farm equipment, barn wood and forests. When I include naturel elements and rustic surfaces into my work, I am able to combine a Wabi Sabi aesthetic, which embraces transience and imperfection, with the elegant simplicity of the traditional Japanese and American craftsman styles.

There is always one captivating object that initiates a new piece for me. Whether I’m making a lamp with shoji screen panels or a rustic wooden bench or table, I begin with something specific about the piece of wood–perhaps the iridescent sparkle of Mahogany, or an interesting texture or a beautifully shaped branch from the forest floor. I aim for balance and harmony of light and color, texture and proportion.

I became a member of the Winthrop Galley when I arrived in the Methow Valley. I have had numerous featured artist shows there and at the Confluence Art Center in Twisp, Washington. I most recently became a member of the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery.

I aim for a timeless quality in my work and hope to share my creative experience through the object I’ve made.