Maria is the owner of Hammerstone: Carpentry for Women, head teacher, and lead carpenter on Hammerstone construction projects. Maria’s passion for building, in particular natural building and timber framing is apparent in her work and in her classes. She is a proponent of high performance construction using natural materials.
When not busy running Hammerstone, Maria spends enjoys time with her family skiing and sledding, swimming in the finger lakes, and maintaining a small homestead.
Maria serves on the board of Alternatives Federal Credit Union.
Miwa Oseki Robbins
While halfway through getting a B.S. in Science of Natural and Environmental Systems at Cornell University, Miwa got the crazy idea in her head that she wanted to build her own house. This dream led to her taking a year off during which she began by getting her permaculture design certification and ended with being a work trader at the Natural Cottage Project, a strawbale-timberframe-thatch roof build taught by Sarah Highland, Deanne Bednar, Christina Ott, and Chris McClellan. This last experience led to a desire to learn more about timber framing and so after returning to Ithaca and completing her Bachelor’s degree, Miwa apprenticed at the Heartwood School for Homebuilding Crafts in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. She is very excited to now be working on Hammerstone’s all women building crew and to be finally returning to her dream of building her own home.
When Miwa is not working at Hammerstone or working on her own tiny house she loves to swim and explore the many hidden waterways in and around Ithaca, go for long walks and hunt for edible mushroom in the woods, and go out for the occasional night of dancing.
Christina joins our crew after working many years in the food service industry and was a restaurant manager prior to joining Hammerstone. Christina came to us as a student in our 2-Day Basic Carpentry Skills class in the summer of 2014. While she didn’t know a lot about using a circular saw or how to properly swing a hammer, she had a lot of enthusiasm for learning and jumped head first into figuring out the skills she needed to excel. After that first class, she was hooked. Christina participated in 3 more classes over the next year and a half. Starting in January of 2016, she was hired as a full-time carpenter. Now she fills her work days with measuring, sawing, and putting all the carpentry skills she learned into practice.
In her free time, Christina enjoys biking, being outside, swimming in the lake, and enjoying Ithaca.