RH Lee

RH Lee

Shop Manager


Offerman Woodshop

Los Angeles, CA USA


Woodworking is all about trial and error...you make a lot of terrible mistakes, but that’s the process of learning.

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

RH Lee

Highlight
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01:17
RH Lee HighlightInterview Highlight
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08:14
InterviewThe Interview
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03:31
Day In The Life Of A Professional WoodworkerWeb Exclusive
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01:49
Educational Path For WoodworkersWeb Exclusive
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01:00
Helping The Community With My Nonprofit WorkWeb Exclusive
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01:45
My Career PathInterview Excerpt
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01:05
Obstacles Faced As A WoodworkerInterview Excerpt
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00:40
Be Someone Other People Want To Work WithInterview Excerpt
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01:43
Woodworking Is CollaborativeInterview Excerpt
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01:39
Look For The People You Want To Work ForInterview Excerpt

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Grew up in Berkeley, CA in a family of academics—admits she is one of the only people in her entire extended family that didn’t pursue an academic discipline.
At age 7, she took a kids’ carpentry class, which sparked her interest in art and building things.
Attended Brown University in Rhode Island where she received her degree in art and philosophy (semiotics).
While in college, she would build sets for the theater department, which she says satisfied her interests in visual arts and literature/philosophy.
After graduating, she moved back to California, where she continued working as a scenic carpenter and got a job building interactive science exhibits for the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco.
She took a three week summer course in fine woodworking at College of the Redwoods, which was instrumental in improving her skills and transitioning her craft from scenic work to fine furniture.
In 2008, she moved to Los Angeles where she took a job running the Offerman Woodshop, a woodworking collective owned by actor and comedian Nick Offerman.
She is also the program director of the non-profit Would Works and teaches woodworking in the School of Art at California State University, Long Beach.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Art/Art Studies, General
Brown University
Bachelor
Philosophy
Brown University
Vocational
Furniture Design and Manufacturing
College of the Redwoods

Career

Shop Manager

I design and build things out of wood and teach people woodworking skills.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Art
Design
Building Things

Day to Day

Whether I'm working on my own projects or teaching people, a great day is when a project starts to come together in assembly. What started out as a rough pile of sticks at the beginning of the day begins to take form and transform into a functional and beautiful object.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

People skills and communication skills are important. I deal with a lot of custom clients, vendors, designers, students and employees and being able to communicate clearly in writing or conversation is crucial. It's important to be someone that others want to work for or work with.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Step away from the screen and get your hands dirty. Make things out of whatever materials you have lying around, there is no need to be precious. Make things that are bad or ugly! You'll learn from your mistakes.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

certification
Vocational
Woodworking, General

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"You don't have the skills."

Challenges I Overcame

Gender Discrimination
Financial