Woodworking in America: Massood & Sasha Nouri

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We are interviewing producers from all 50 states. Today we introduce Massood and Sasha Nouri, a father-daughter couple from Washington.

How did you start the woodworking? Who were your mentors?
My father spent his childhood in Iran and was inspired by his older brother. When he was only seven, his brother gave him some old nails that were all folded and unusable. And my father straightened them, one by one, with a hammer and a rock. He was given a hand saw for his eighth birthday and learned to cut pieces of wood. His passion for woodworking grew from there. As for me, my father was my mentor. Growing up, I would see him building furniture in our garage in his spare time. He started spinning wood when I was a teenager and introduced me to it when I was in college. I was immediately captured!

What do you think is your best or favorite job? What kind of work do you do most?
Our favorite works tend to be when we are able to save wood from trees that have been cut down. Our bowls with a live edge or bowls unique in their natural characteristics are our favorites! And of course we love a good burl.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start carpentry or pursue it as a profession?
It is one of the most rewarding pastimes: carpentry is an extraordinary way of connecting with nature. Our advice is to learn it first from the masters. If you can afford to take lessons in your local wood turning chapters, we suggest you do so. If you’re on a budget, watch YouTube videos or read articles. Don’t be in a hurry to buy a lot of equipment until you gradually learn which tools are best. Basically, being informed, learning from the masters and practicing makes perfect.

What is your practical advice or the best woodworking technique?
Two important tips: protect your body and take your time! Do not rush, you will be inclined to make mistakes.

Is there anyone you would like to scream or recommend to follow? Who inspires you? (It doesn’t even have to be tied to carpentry.)
We are inspired by many: two turners we admire are David Ellsworth and Malcolm Tibbets (@tahoeturner). We also love Anne Briggs (@anneofalltrades), she is a fantastic person and a talented carpenter.

Check out other Massood & Sasha works on their website or on Instagram @underthechestnuttree

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