In the workshop of George Nakashima, the soul of the tree was celebrated. "It is an art- and soul-satisfying adventure to walk the forests of the world, to commune with trees,” Nakashima said, “to bring this living material to the work bench, ultimately to give it a second life." Nakashima, an architect who trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discovered woodworking while in an internment camp during WWII. In 1943, he moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania and opened his studio. There he created pieces highlighting wood’s natural beauty, most notably by including the tree’s rough outer layer, or the “free edge”. Nakashima worked throughout the world; in India, he became deeply spiritual. He developed a goal to construct peace altars on every continent—the first, made of book-matched slabs of black walnut, was installed at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1986.