NEW WORK

Featuring the Trees of Santa Fe, New Mexico


Laura Yeats

FORM FOLLOWS NATURE

As a child of the 60s I am drawn to the work of the Modernists. I love minimalist design and inevitably I integrated this era’s influence with its unforgettable axioms – Form Follows Function, Less is More and Ornament is a Crime. The conditioning really shows in my early furniture pieces where function was foremost and the rest – proportion, symmetry, materials and craftsmanship – were refined and congruent.


Over time I questioned that rigidity and eased into trusting myself in the designing and making process. Now I allow the material – the trees – to influence my design decisions. At first glance, my work appears simple and minimalist. Yet, if you look closer and more deeply, you will delight in the intricate visual details that were hidden beneath the bark. With each form I make, I hope to reveal Nature’s mystery – the soul of the tree.

Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats

OBJECTS OF BEAUTY

I transform fallen, diseased and unwanted trees into fine furniture, bowls and sculptural objects. You’ll see piles of logs, root balls and gnarled limbs surrounding my studio. As I roll them around to study them, I wait patiently for my inspiration to be provoked – as if the tree itself may speak to me! I make exploratory cuts trusting that I will stumble upon what form will best express this tree’s inner beauty.


For many years my studio was at the Log Yard for Urban Hardwoods. The milling operation regularly processed significant specimens, and each tree bore evidence of its lifespan in the urban environment with its pruning scars, inclusions, decay and oftentimes, embedded nails, bolts and wire. Some logs came from trees that were poignant in Seattle’s history such as the felled Honey Locust trees planted for the 1962 World's Fair and the Sycamore trees of historic Occidental Square removed due to disease.


As an Artist I am part of this process – the process of transforming fallen trees into their second life as furniture, bowls and other Objects of Beauty.

Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats

ARCHETYPAL FORMS

Everything I make is a conversation with a tree. Because every tree is unique, so is every form. My initial chainsaw cuts reveal the character of the wood, from burls to bug trails to contrasting colors between heartwood and sapwood. When the log goes on the lathe, I carve through the rings with my chisels, each ring a year gone by. Each layer is a discovery, and these discoveries inform the shape of the object. The form evolves as I work—I go where the wood leads me.


There are familiar themes in my work – these are the Archetypal Forms. Over time I began referring to them by name. First, the deep, pail-like bowl became the bucket. After an inspired visit to Hawaii, the bulbous calabash emerged. Later, with the use of fire, the ruffles and the primitives came to light. What do you call a bowl that rolls around on the table? A wobbler, of course!

Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats

COLOR AND ORNAMENT

What I love most about what I do is shaping the form – sculpting a log into something unique. But I often lose momentum when it comes to the final details, when it’s time to possibly add embellishment, color or finish. Sometimes I get stumped! So I leave it alone for a while – until the next move presents itself. For me, creating art involves continual research, experimentation and discovery – especially with regard to Color and Ornament.


It’s rare that I will mask the wood’s beautiful, natural color. However, if I do, my favorite methods are with patinas – organic substances that react to wood tannins, thereby changing the color. Rusty vinegar blackens oak and lime weathers pine. Citric acid lightens and oxalic acid whitens. I often use a torch as an alternate way to char and blacken the wood.


My Modernist influences practically dictate that the form be left free of adornment. I make some exceptions though, such as subtle changes to the wood’s texture with a wire brush or carving gouge and sometimes more dramatically with a chainsaw.

Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats

LAURA YEATS, WOOD ARTIST

I approach my work through connection and intuition. My best creations come when I allow myself to work in isolation where I can tune into the natural environment and hopefully gain insight and inspiration for my pieces. In my creative process, I seek the essence of beauty, simplicity and purity, and as a result my work is mostly free of adornment. I hope that what I create is both a pleasure to look at and a delight to hold, but also an accurate translation of my connection to nature.


Education and Credentials


My formal education was in architecture and urban planning from the University of Washington. I first studied furniture design and craftsmanship at Seattle’s Pratt Fine Art Center and then traveled for intensive woodworking study at several destination arts and crafts schools including College of the Redwoods, Penland, Haystack and Arrowmont. I established my Seattle Studio in 2000, my Orcas Island Studio in 2010 and my Santa Fe studio in 2015.

Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats

I was a Furniture Maker working in a huge workshop chock full of specialized machines. I loved the precision and perfection I achieved then and there, but custom commissions often included unsavory aspects, like deadlines!


In 2005, I was selected for the Artist-in-Residence program at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. The year-long immersion was pivotal by influencing how and what I make – as an Artist.


Now I use hand tools to cut, split and carve the wood when it inspires me. In addition to hand tools, I use a giant wood lathe to turn the monumental bowls, drum tables and orbs. Each piece I make is a magic combination of Art and Craft as well as a celebration of the tree from which it emerged.


Watch: LAURA YEATS on Verve, a showcase of local artists by Patricia O’Brien for the Seattle Channel.

PAST PROJECTS & PRESS CLIPPINGS

My foray into the arts began while I still worked professionally as a land use planner. I took evening classes in woodworking and welding as I considered graduate school for Studio Furniture. I chose instead to travel and attend various destination art and craft schools. I took 'immersion workshops' from several well-known furniture makers, each teaching their own particular method. I also joined a cooperative wood shop where I could take on custom commissions as well as build speculative pieces for design competitions and public art installations.


Here you will see an eclectic mix of styles, with many pieces showing the influence of the masters with whom I worked or studied. Eventually my own aesthetic began to emerge – after I allowed myself to get lost in the trees!

Laura Yeats

Artist's Collection

Bowls & Vessels


Featured Artwork

New Residence Design

Heliotrope Architects
2015

Laura Yeats

Madrone Wood Chargers

a.k.a. Madrone Ruffles


Featured Artwork

A Nice Niche

Gray
October 2014

Laura Yeats

Madrone Bowl

Bleached Madrone with Pyrography


Award winning entry

Hawaii Craftsmen
Annual Juried Show


Collaboration with Scott Fitzel
Honolulu Museum of Art
2013

Laura Yeats

Beloved Man's Urn

Black Walnut


Private Commission

Cremation Urn

Made for a friend's father
2013

Laura Yeats

Monumental Bowls

New Work in Elm and Sequoia


Grand Opening

Urban Hardwoods

Los Angeles, CA
2013

Laura Yeats

Student's Bowls

The STABLES Project


Student Photos and Reviews

From a Tree to Your Table

Workshops held at Laura Yeats' Studio
Orcas Island, WA
2012 - 2014

Laura Yeats

Low Table

Natural Edge Slab, Blackened Steel Base


Featured Artwork

Paradise Found

Coast Living
October 2013

Lodge Style

Seattle Homes and Lifestyles
November 2010

Laura Yeats

Primitives, Spheres, Ruffles

They WoodClay nicely together


Group Show

Nicklas Gallery

Seattle, WA
2013

Laura Yeats

Seattle Artist

Finds Inspiration in Urban Trees


Article by Stephen Bratkovich

Laura Yeats
Sawmill & Woodlot
April 2012

Laura Yeats

White Bowls

Orcas Island Artists


Group Show & Studio Tour

Orcas Center

Orcas Island, WA
2012

Laura Yeats

The STABLES Project

Summer Workshops


Design + Craft Education

Eight Artisans (Instructors)

Orcas Island, WA
2012

Laura Yeats, Chris Emmert, Tom Lee, Julia Harrison, David Simpson, Jorgen Harle, Bart Turner, Patrick Maher

Laura Yeats

Bowls and Vessels

Products for Urban Hardwoods


Featured Artwork

Advertisements

Various Publications
2010 - 2012

Laura Yeats

Furniture Studio

Undergraduate Architecture Students


12 Student Projects

Process

Program

Arch 402, Furniture Studio

University of Washington
College of Architecture

Instructed by Laura Yeats and Penny Maulden
2011

Laura Yeats

Walnut Primitive

Bowls at Urban Hardwoods


Featured Artwork

Good Wood

Northwest Home
March 2011

Laura Yeats

Monuments, Buckets, Ruffles

Bowls at Urban Hardwoods


Grand Opening

Urban Hardwoods

Seattle, WA
2011

Laura Yeats

Primitives

Scrap


Group Show
Curated by JOIN

Fancy

Seattle, WA
2011

Laura Yeats

Monumental Bowl

Black Walnut


Featured Artwork

A Fab Rehab

Northwest Home
January 2011

Laura Yeats

The Planet

30" Diameter Weeping Cherry Sphere


Recycled Wood

Winter Storm Fallen Tree

Washington Park Arboretum
2011

Laura Yeats

Outdoor Installation

Dunn Gardens Art Walk


Invitational Event

Two Day Art Walk

Dunn Gardens, Seattle, WA
2011

Laura Yeats

Garden Cart

White Oak, Antique Wheelbarrow


Grand Opening

Urban House

Seattle, WA
2010

Laura Yeats

Cocktail Tables

Fir Stump, Steel Base


Private Commission

Grey Gallery and Lounge

Seattle, WA
2010

Laura Yeats

Furniture Studio

Undergraduate Architecture Students


12 Student Projects

Process

Program

Arch 402, Furniture Studio

University of Washington
College of Architecture

Instructed by Laura Yeats and Penny Maulden
2010

Laura Yeats

Holiday Sale

Wood Bowls


Anual Event

Urban Hardwoods

Seattle, WA
2008 - 2010

Laura Yeats

Student Project

Masters of Applied Craft & Design


2 Week Design / Build

Photos

Bison Building Studio Build-out

Steve Badanes (Instructor)
Laura Yeats (Shop Tech)

PNAC / OCAC
Portland, OR
2009

Laura Yeats

Students' Bowls

The Wood Bowl Workshop


Group Show

From a Tree to Your Table

Workshops held at Laura Yeats' Studio
Show held at Urban Hardwoods
2009

Laura Yeats

Bowls & Furniture

Rough in the Round


Group Show

Piano Nobile

Seattle, WA
2008

Laura Yeats

Artist Profiles

Article by Virginia Bunker


Brian Balmert, Laura Yeats, Stephan Gulassa, Piano Nobile, Meyer Wells

Connected to Craft

Seattle Homes & Lifestyles
September 2008

Laura Yeats

Rounds

Cedar Stools


New Product

Yeats Design

2008

Laura Yeats

Street Corner Furniture

Salvaged Wood & Steel


Guerrilla Art Installation

Colaboration with Several Artists

Georgetown Neighborhood
2008

Laura Yeats

Mesh Bowls

Molded Chicken Wire


Featured Artwork

Wired - Woven Wonder

Seattle Homes & Lifestyles
September 2008

Laura Yeats

Madrone Primitive

Art at UH


Group Show

Urban Hardwoods

Seattle, WA
2008

Laura Yeats

Burly Treasure

Maple Burl


Featured Artwork

Why Wooden't You?

Seattle Metropolitan Magazine
June 2008

Laura Yeats

Urban Hardwoods

Profile of Artisans


Featured Artwork

The Seattle Times

Photo Essay

May 19, 2007

Laura Yeats

Let's Go Bowling

Super 8 Film


Short Film

Georgetown Super 8 Film Festival

View Film

Kim Engie and Laura Yeats
2007

Laura Yeats

Monumental Bowls

Elm & Walnut


New Products

Yeats Design

June 2008

Laura Yeats

Products for Ornamo

Bowls, Side Table


Featured Artwork

Elm Bucket
New York Times Style Magazine
May 15, 2007

Side Table
Seattle Metropolitan Magazine
January, 2007

Table Design: Brian Balmert
Metal: Caloline Davis
Wood: Laura Yeats

Laura Yeats

Bowls, Furniture & Vessels

Local Wood


Solo Show

Kobo at Higo

Seattle, WA
2007

Laura Yeats

Campfire Chairs

Sequoia Stumps, Split and Scorched


New Product

Yeats Design

2007

Laura Yeats

Log Tee

Ladies Super Hero Tee Shirt


Log-o Design by Kelly

Kelly Davis
Farm Girl Works
Began in 2006

Laura Yeats

Plush Stools

Walnut with Natural Indigo


New Product

Textiles: Rowland Ricketts, Ricketts Indigo
Wood: Laura Yeats
2007

Laura Yeats

Final Exhibition

Arrowmont Resident Artists


Group Show

Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts

One Year Residency Program
2006

Laura Yeats

Open Studio | Demonstrations

Artists-in-Schools Program


Community Demo

Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts

One Year Residency Program
2006

Laura Yeats

Family Table

Reclaimed Douglas Fir


Private Commission

Design: Lead Pencil Studio
Fabrication: Laura Yeats
2004

Laura Yeats

Tea Bench

Wood & Mosaic


Award Winning Entry

Arboretum Bench Competition

Washington Park, Seattle, WA

Mosaic: Karen Lewis
Wood: Laura Yeats
2003

Laura Yeats

Wine Rack, Serving Tray, Votive Blocks

Salvaged Steel & Wood Off-cuts


New Products

Yeats Design

2002 - 2003

Laura Yeats

Wood & Steel Furniture

Private Commissions


Bookcase Projects

Trio Bookcases
Ebonized Oak with Rusted Steel
2003

Spanish Bookcases
Cherry with Blackened Steel
2002

Laura Yeats

Wood & Steel Furniture

Private Commissions


Various Projects

Standing Cabinet
Cherry & Steel
Metalwork: Adria Pauli
2001

Music Stand & Stool
Walnut & Steel
2002

Coffee Table
Walnut & Blackened Steel
2002

Laura Yeats

Street Corner Furniture

Salvaged Wood & Steel


Guerrilla Art Installation

Collaboration with Greg Lewis

Central District Neighborhood
Seattle, WA
2002

Laura Yeats

Garden Bench

Ebonized Oak with Blackened Steel


Award Winning Entry

Arboretum Bench Competition

Washington Park, Seattle, WA
2002

Laura Yeats

Early Work

Made when I was a Student


Various Projects

Blanket Chest
Cherry & Marupa
1998

Hanna table
Ash
1998

Laura Yeats

Guitar Stool

Beech


First Project

Laura Yeats

1998

Laura Yeats

PRIVATE INSTRUCTION

The Wood Bowl Workshop


I offer an exclusive design + craft learning experience at my private studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My signature workshop The Wood Bowl - From a Tree to Your Table is a comprehensive immersion – where students explore the qualities and nuances of natural materials, learn principles of form and design and develop fine craft skills. Each student makes at least one beautiful bowl from a local fallen and salvaged tree.


"I have taken the Wood Bowl Workshop three times now, and will absolutely be returning for a fourth. Thanks to Laura's great instruction (and patience), I have improved upon my skills each time, and each time returned home with several beautiful bowls that I use daily. She is not only an excellent instructor for novice woodworkers, but also excels at teaching returning students more advanced turning techniques. Her workshop on Orcas is incredibly beautiful and peaceful, and is a great weekend escape. I can't recommend this course enough--it is a truly amazing experience." - Catharine Killien, Seattle 2013


More Student Reviews.

Laura Yeats

The Wood Bowl

From a Tree to Your Table


Learn to design and make beautiful bowls from reclaimed local hardwood trees. In this workshop you will learn the fundamentals of using a wood lathe for green bowl turning. More importantly, you will gain an understanding of wood characteristics and the principles of good form in bowl design. This workshop is for anyone interested in exploring the creation of 3-dimensional forms using a unique resource of salvaged trees.


This is a Companion Workshop designed for two adults - usually two friends or a couple. If you are alone, I can try to pair you with another interested individual or you can take a Solo Workshop for an additional cost.


More information and registration for The Wood Bowl Workshop is available The STABLES Project.

Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats
Laura Yeats
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