Katie graduated from Bennington College in 2008 having studied painting and education. One of her first post-college jobs was at an antique furniture business, where she learned the difference between a cabriole leg and a bonnet (one's at the top, the other's at the bottom).
Katie took a course from Elaine Hamel at Girls At Work on teaching woodshop to at-risk girls, and spent the next four summers as Head of Woodworking at a girls' camp in New Hampshire. There, she attempted to pass on to her students the empowerment Elaine had given her, and experimented with ways to improve the wood shop experience for her staff and students.
In 2010-2011, Katie attended New England School of Architectural Woodworking and received a certificate in cabinetmaking. After working with various cabinetmakers and as a table builder for Champagne Tables, Katie moved from Western Massachusetts out to the American West and was introduced to the great maker scene of the Bay Area.
Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of the bay, she put an ad on Craigslist for a partner for a woodworking startup and met Lilah Crews-Pless. They had a six-month collaboration making custom flat-pack furniture at Techshop in Menlo Park, California.
Afterward, Katie continued experimenting with designs in wood, making furniture and decor objects. During the time she was building her It's A Trapezoid! Bench and making her veneer painting series: Small and Medium Animals of the Northeastern United States, she was led back to the coasts, forests, lakes, and mill towns of New England.
Currently, Katie is often found at NESIT Hackerspace in Connecticut, designing and building simple projects. Her book, Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture: 20 Step-By-Step Projects Anyone Can Build is published by Timber Press with project photographs by Ellen Blackmar of Ellen Rose Photography.
DIY Project: Stair-Step Planters from Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture on Martha Stewart
Makercast: The Podcast For Makers episode : Katie Jackson
Blog Post on Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture on Digging: Cool Gardens in a Hot Climate
Q&A with Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture author Katie Jackson on Timber Press Talks
Article on Highland Woodworking's Wood News Online
Instructables Grand Prize Winner, Green Design Contest
Instructables First Prize Winner, Gardening Contest
Treehugger Article I on Picnic Table
Collaboration with Lilah Crews-Pless
Much of the furniture on this website was made as part of Lilah Crews-Pless and Katie Jackson Woodworks, a six-month collaboration in 2013, working mostly out of Techshop in Menlo Park, California. Lilah can be contacted at LCrewsPless@Gmail.com.
The pieces she and Katie made together are: