George Nakashima was born in Spokane, Washington, USA.
Following early work as an architect in Tokyo and India, Nakashima moved to New Hope,PA in the mid-1940’s to begin making handmade sculptural furniture. His creations were informed by Japanese grace and Shaker design. George Nakashma was known as the dean of 20th-c American woodworkers because of his high professional standards.
Nakashima’s approach was based on direct experience – a way of life and development outward from an inner core; something of the same process that nature uses in the creation of a tree – with one addition, the aspiration of man to produce the wonder and beauty of his potentialities – no “statements,” no “pillars of design,” no personal expression, no frivolity, but an outlook both severe and spontaneous. A firm design, based on principles as universal as possible, producing objects without “style,” is real and utilitarian. The subtlety of the evolvement of the finest materials shaped with intense skill, inadequately termed craftsmanship, can produce a basic sensitivity.