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Bob Stocksdale and Kay Sekimachi papers, circa 1900-2015

Biographical Note

Bob Stocksdale (1913-2003) was a woodturner active in California. He was known for bowls he formed from rare types of wood. Kay Sekimachi (1926- ) is a Japanese-American fiber artist and educator also active in California. She began her career in weaving on and off the loom and was part of the New Basketry movement.
Born in Indiana, Bob Stocksdale began his interest in carving by whittling with a pocket knife. Later, he created his own lathe with a washing machine motor and turned items such as baseball bats. During World War II, he was a conscientious objector and worked at various camps performing forestry work. It was in one of the camps that he turned his first bowl on a lathe.
After the war, Stocksdale settled in the Bay Area of California where he established his own woodturning shop in his basement. He concentrated on making bowls out of rare woods. His work has been recognized throughout the world and in 1998, he received the American Association of Woodturners Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2003, he received the James Renwick Alliance Masters of the Medium Award.
Kay Sekimachi was born in San Francisco, California in 1926. As a high school student, she was forcibly interned through Executive Order 9066 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt which incarcerated approximately 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-American citizens during World War II. Along with her mother and siblings, Kay lived at Tanforan Assembly Center and later moved to Topaz War Relocation Center in Utah. She continued her schooling at Topaz and after 1944, was resettled in Cincinnati, Ohio.
After graduating from high school, Kay Sekimachi enrolled at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts where she learned the craft of weaving under Trude Guermonprez and Jack Lenor Larsen. Her early works were tapestries and garments. She later used her weaving techniques as part of the New Basketry movement to create baskets and boxes out of fibers. Also an educator, Kay taught weaving at San Francisco Community College. She received the American Craft Council Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship in 2002.
After the dissolution of his first marriage through which he had two children, son Kim and daughter Joy Stocksdale, Bob married Kay Sekimachi in 1972. The two had been acquainted for many years as they were both craft artists living in the Bay Area. Although they married later in life, Kay and Bob travelled the world and exhibited their art together in many exhibitions including Marriage in Form and Loom and Lathe.
Bob Stocksdale died in Oakland, California in 2003. Kay Sekimachi continues to exhibit her work and lives in Berkeley, California.