Stephanie Shipman, Woodworker/Artist/Owner
…And I Built it with my Vagina!!! & Shipman Designs
My love and interest in building all stems from the theatre world. I started acting and singing in musicals at the age of 14, and soon after started building the sets as well. This extracurricular hobby turned into a set design major in college, which led to an internship at Berkeley Repertory Theatre where I worked as a scenic carpenter for 10 years. The friendships I formed there, in some way or another, connected me with two big art crews, UC Berkeley, Burning Man, The Smithsonian and has allowed me to travel the world building and installing art.
One of my main loves is building large scale art installations in a group setting. Riffing off each other’s ideas, playing to people’s strengths, sharing skills and then getting to climb and play on your art is the best feeling in the world. When not doing that, I get immense joy from making custom furniture and art for my clients. There’s nothing quite like hearing what someone is looking for and then creating it for them.
Another love in the building world is teaching! I didn’t realize I liked teaching until I worked at UC Berkeley. It was there that it was brought to my attention that there was STILL a HUGE need for demystifying the code or club that surrounds woodworking. Especially for women. So in 2018, when I got my own shop and launched Shipman Designs, I also started “…And I Built it with My Vagina!!!”, my building workshops for women. I love seeing all the gears turning in people’s heads when they figure out they can make something themselves, and then they DO!!