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Michael Fortune...



 Michael Fortune maintains his studio near Peterborough Ontario Canada. He designs and makes furniture for residences across North America. His teaching experience includes eight years at Sheridan College, Rochester Institute of Technology NY, the Kootenay School of the Arts BC and numerous courses in summer programs at art centers in the United States. He is active in educating woodworkers around the globe about the responsible use of tropical hardwoods, and in facilitating connections between the woodworking craft and the social and economic growth of underdeveloped countries.

 In 1993 Fortune received the prestigious Prix Saidye Bronfman, Canada's highest award in the crafts. Juried by his peers, he is the first furniture designer/maker to receive this award. In 2007 Michael received the Furniture Society's Award of Distinction. He truly is one of the top North American furniture designers.

 Michael's work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Civilization (Ottawa), Royal Ontario Museum, Claridge Collection of Canadian Art and Craft (Montreal), Massey Foundation, Ontario Crafts Council Collection, and The National Capital Commission in Ottawa.


          Artists's Statement

            I primarily design and make furniture by commission for private residences across Canada and the United States. I use traditional woodworking and metal working techniques in combination with innovative forming processes that have been adapted from the aerospace and boat-building industries.

 Although I describe my studio-based work as contemporary, I enjoy playing with a wide range of natural and historical influences, whether it is a beautiful vase from Mesopotamia circa 2800 BC, a piece of discarded furniture or the texture found on a split piece of firewood. Sketching, making scale models and building full-size prototypes are a very important part of my design process. My goal is to create objects that are resolved on every level and satisfy my personal aesthetic.

 I also design wood products for manufacture in developing economies such as Trinidad, Belize, Mexico and Guyana. These projects are either sponsored by international aid agencies or are private ventures. This can involve on-site training and requires that I commute between my studio in Canada and the community that I am working with abroad. Participating in these development projects allows my small studio to contribute, in a balanced way, to both our culture and the economy.

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Last Modified 2015-01-26 09:39:21