D Wood ✿ In quest of the well-crafted word

D Wood has combined writing about craft with a keen commitment to its making, including carpentry and needlework. 

I was blessed with an education that contained spelling drills and narrative writing: I was taught how to write. And my maternal grandparents were Finnish so I was brought up in an environment of knitting, rug weaving, carpentry and home baking. I was taught how to make.

My intellect and my writing served me in high school and university but the craving to make continued. I studied architecture in New Zealand where I preferred the model-making; I parlayed my degree into exhibition design and hand(led) displays of museum artefacts in Canada and Bermuda. Finally, in my mid-forties, I returned to school in Canada and the United States to formally study craft and relished six years of making stuff. My writing was merely an asset for the academic requirements. I wanted to be a craftsperson.

Thankfully, my wise instructors kept insisting: you can do both! I submitted my first story to Gourmet (1941-2009) in 2000 and it was accepted. My writing portfolio now contains 130+ publications in all craft media and I derive immense satisfaction from being able to bring recognition to handmaking and its practitioners.

As for my own crafting? I’ve returned to my roots: needlework.

D Wood designed and made furniture to earn a Diploma in Crafts and Design at Sheridan College in Canada and an MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. She obtained her PhD in Design Studies at the University of Otago in 2012. Her thesis, “Futuring Craft: Studio Furniture in New Zealand 1979-2008” is available at http://hdl.handle.net/10523/2421. D is the editor of Craft is Political (Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2021) and is working on a second volume of essays about craft and the political.

“I feel as if I’ve dropped into a secret cave”: The power of clay in recent Indian fiction - D Wood reviews two recent novels by Indian writers that evoke the allure of ceramics.
Reading for pleasure, pleasurable reading - D Wood reviews Trevor Marchand's The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work: Craftwork in Twenty-First Century England
Queering the Subversive Stitch: Sew very masculine! - D Wood reviews a book that seeks to give due recognition to the men who sew.
Craft Culture in Early Modern Japan: Learning by doing - D Wood reviews Christine Guth’s Craft Culture in Early Modern Japan and finds fascinating detail about the elaborate world of makers.
Crafting a canon: Change through scholarship  - Inspired by writers like Edmund de Waal, D Wood argues for the importance of craft writing, by makers.
Water, Wood and Wild Things: Learning Craft and Cultivation in a Japanese Mountain Town – review - D Wood reviews a book about Yamanaka, a village in a "nether region" of Japan where beautiful traditions linger.
To rescue a world on the wane: A clarion call to woodworkers - D Wood argues that wood furniture should be more than just the appearance of its origins, but reflect its sourcing as well. 
Defining studio furniture down under - A summary of the studio furniture phenomenon in New Zealand including its beginnings, educational opportunities, exhibitions, and participants.