Sharon C. Mehrman
MDesign Candidate, Department of Architecture and Design
Education: BFA Communications Design, Parsons School of Design
In my pursuit of a Master’s of Design and a Graduate Certificate in Public History, my studies are focused on material culture, historic preservation, and wood science. I’m especially interested in the technology and design of early machines and tools, architecture, and building technologies. As a public historian, I’m interested in creating dynamic ways to engage visitors.
I have over 25 years of experience utilizing Design Thinking modalities to create design solutions in furniture making, woodworking, interior design, and graphic design. I own and operate a one-woman workshop in Florence, Massachusetts, where I design and build heirloom quality furniture and home furnishings. My experience as an artisan of handcrafted furniture informs my research and scholarship in my graduate studies.
Primarily a self-taught woodworker, I earned a Master Furniture Maker certificate from Hill Institute in Florence Massachusetts in 2009, where I now teach woodworking and furniture making classes. In 2016, I was appointed the director of the Master Furniture Program. Through a progression of early American furniture pieces, I teach students handcraft techniques such as cutting mortise & tenon and dovetail joinery, carving decorative elements like shells and fans, and wood inlay and veneering. Since taking over as program director, I have added a component to engage students in learning decorative arts history in conjunction with their hands-on practicum.
In 2015, I was awarded the Grand Prize in the Popular Woodworking Magazine Excellence Awards for the Thread Chest, an Art Nouveau inspired original design casework piece that I created for a private collector. I show my work in nationally recognized juried craft shows including Paradise City Arts Festival and CraftBoston. My work was juried into a six-month exhibition at the Connecticut Historical Society, featuring current works by members of the Society for American Period Furniture Makers in 2012.