Katie Hudnall received her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art & Design and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Furniture Design/Woodworking. She has been the recipient of a Virginia Museum of Fine Art Fellowship, the Windgate Wood Residency at the University of Madison, Wisconsin, an Anderson Ranch Residency and most recently a Peter S. Reed Foundation Fellowship.
Her work has been included in many publications and exhibitions including Studio Furniture: The Next Generation, Crafting A Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft, and Beyond Boundaries at SOFA Chicago.
She lives and works in Indianapolis, IN, where she teaches Furniture Design at the Herron School of Art & Design.
Building larger furniture and furniture-like objects from small, rough, discarded bits of wood, I sketch pieces together. There’s intensity and an odd sense of worth in something that has been cobbled together from smaller parts. I don’t hide the connections, and I leave traces of attempts and failures to make something work—an odd map of the logic and processes used to assemble the piece.
These pieces are often fragile-looking, precariously balanced on spindly legs or bases that rock. Each performs some odd function, opening the door on one opens the umbrella-like structure sprouting from the top of another. The system of pulleys and rope that makes the action possible is as cobbled together as the piece itself, and seems destined to fail, as the whole thing seems destined to collapse. They are metaphors for our relationships with one another. The imperfect edge of one piece fitting perfectly against the imperfect edge of another, pieces whose function suggest protection but offer no real security, and everything seemingly on the verge of collapse, but never quite collapsing. I am tapping into the delight that comes from seeing something work that shouldn’t, the hope that comes from a thing endlessly repaired, no matter how many times it has broken, and the beauty in something textured with imperfections and then worn smooth through use.