Five Furniture Makers You Should Know
Springboks, Feathers, Leaves, Tides & Chemistry
Fine craft is where form and function meet and these five furniture makers are stellar examples of craft alchemy. Take a look at these makers below and see how they use their materials and their mastery to transform it. Their vision often derives things that we see everyday, but because of their unique skills they let us see with new eyes and new delight.
Michaela’s work incorporates beautiful lines that bind together art, craft, and stories. Unsurprisingly, she has a degree sculpture and painting, and was a studio fellow. Now, she is a faculty member of her craft school, the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. Her sculptures and designs are shown nationally and she has received numerous accolades. This includes, grants from the Maine Arts Commission, the Furniture Society, and the Artist Award from the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. This chair is titled “Springbok”…you can see it right? Running fast across the savannah .
Oh so Zen. Her work revolves around a botanical theme, an outcropping of her degree in Agriculture and love of the outdoors. She is both a turner and carver and she melds these to great effect in her work. In particular, the shapes, textures, and simple beauty found in the natural world are at the center of her work. As a result, each pieces evokes the sense of tranquility of a quiet walk in the woods.
Miriam began studying along side Mira Nakashima (yeah, that Nakashima) and her work is both incredibly well crafted and ethedral. She lived, worked, and studied with furniture makers, sculptors, scholars, and environmental stewards in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. Her works bring out the uniqueness of the material and woods she uses. It’s hard not to look at the feathers in particular and hold your breath for how incredibly fragile they look.
Kelly Parker is a designer and maker of contemporary studio furniture and a biochemist (go figure!). Recognized by many – Furniture Society, first recipient of a development grant awarded from the Krenov Foundation. Her work was featured in Fine Woodworking, Australian Wood Review, and Rooted: Creating a Sense of Place: Contemporary Studio Furniture. Kelly is a bit of a maverick. As a result, her work often incorporates other materials such as metal, glass and acrylic.
Adrian takes an interdisciplinary approach that integrates scientific research, data visualization, history, landscape, and materiality. Thus, his work interprets the complex poetics of statistical information into highly crafted forms and materials. Consequently, his pieces reveal trends, patterns, and changes in the landscape that occur over time. This piece -Tidal Datum – is a series of data sculptures visualizing tidal charts as a physical experience to reveal the subtle unseen patterns in the ocean’s sea level as the tides rise and fall in a daily and monthly cycle. Therefore , this is the first sculpture in the series sourced tide charts recorded in San Francisco Bay from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Online Historic Tide Database in May of 2006. In this case, the curves of the daily graphs are translated into hand bent steel and framed within a walnut wood structure.
Want to learn how to do craft yourself?
Turning, Carving and Furniture making classes are all available from many of these makers at the Florida School of Woodwork