Crafty Manolo » All He Was Saying Was Give Peace a Chance

All He Was Saying Was Give Peace a Chance

By Twistie

via IDSA Philly

This gentleman is American craft artist George Nakashima. The young lady sitting on the table is his daughter, Mira. Nakashima was a visionary artist, and today Mira continues and expands his legacy of exquisite furniture.

via Modern Design

As you can see, the philosophy behind the work was always one of respect for the material. The shape and grain of the wood are left intact on top, while being supported by architectural bases. The combination of minimal interference and thoughtful construction creates a harmonious and entirely practical result.

But Nakashima was also a dreamer.

Born in 1905 in Spokane, Washington, Nakashima found himself – like many Americans of Japanese heritage – confined during World War II to Camp Minidoka in Hunt, Idaho, one of several internment camps. While he was trained in architecture and had begun to experiment in making furniture, it was in Camp Minidoka that he met Gentaro Hikagawa who taught Nakashima traditional Japanese carpentry techniques.

After about a year in the camp, Nakashima was sponsored for release by Antonin Raymond and set up as a furniture maker. He honed the skills he’d learned, as well as his artistic vision.

And he dreamed of a world at peace.

via Nakashima Woodworker

In 1986, Nakashima created the first in a proposed series of ‘peace altars.’ It was installed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City that year. Nine years later, the second table was delivered to the United Nations. It was used at The Hague Appeal for Peace in 1999 and then passed on to the Russian Academy of Art in Moscow, where it continues to serve as an inspiration.

The third table was delivered to India, to the Unity Pavillion in the City of Peace, Auroville. Coincidentally, the city was formed from an Ashram Nakashima helped build in 1937.

Nakashima did not live to see the delivery of the third peace altar. He died in 1990 at the age of 85. His dream of seven peace altars (one for every continent) remains unfulfilled, thus far, but Mira continues this work as well as that of crafting beautiful furniture.

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