Ellie Richards is an artist working predominantly in wood. Using this medium her work has taken the form of gallery installations, trompe loi object making, interactive toy block sets, furniture and sculpture. While addressing the relationship between work and play Ellie’s finished works often reference tools, habits, and home life. In 2011 Ellie was a recipient of the Nathan Cummings Travel Fellowship which allowed for travel through Germany, Austria and Sweden to look at early toys and tools whose design and philosophy is historic to those regions. While there she visited the original kindergarten, the Bauhaus, and the Sloyd School - each of these educational institutions leaving an imprint on her approach to making and teaching. Her personal educational pursuit includes a Master of Fine Art in Wood Sculpture from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture and Art Education from the University of Dayton. Since then she has participated in artist residency programs at the Mesa Arts Center, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and Peters Valley School of Craft. Currently she resides in Smithville, TN and works as an instructor and artist in residence at the Appalachian Center for Craft and Tennessee Technological University.