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Philadelphia furniture maker Michael Hurwitz is one of the most talented designer/makers currently working. In this slide show he discusses a selection of pieces he’s made over the past thirty years.
Hurwitz grew up in the suburbs of Boston and after considering a career building traditional stringed instruments, he studied furniture making under Jere Osgood and Alphonse Mattia at Boston University’s Program in Artisanry. Since the mid-1980s he’s been living and working in Philadelphia, where he headed the wood program at the University of the Arts.
An attraction to Japanese craft and building has led Hurwitz to travel to Japan many times, and his own aesthetic is deeply connected with what he has seen and admired there. Hurwitz also has an appetite for exploration across a broad range of materials and crafts both ancient and innovative. He has collaborated with a number of traditional Japanese craftsmen, including experts in urushi lacquer, bamboo weaving, and metalwork. All these experiences have left their mark on his furniture.
More on Michael Hurwitz: One of his display cabinet is featured on the back cover of the latest issue of Fine Woodworking: The Grillwork Grabbed Him. Read the article, Grilled to Perfection for more details on how he made the cabinet. His cracked-ice cabinet also landed on the back cover of the magazine when it was featured in an exhibition, Inspired By China, at the Peabody Essex Museum. Click here to learn more in an audio slideshow.
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His imagination, craftmanship, the lines and shapes of his spirit relate and meet the poetry, beauty and elasticity of wood. His work pleases my spirit. Thank you for sharing the beauty of his work.
Thank you for exposing us to some very original and inspiring work. It is always great to see high quality work by those who are able to think outside the box. I envy his ability to create amazing designs and then figure out just how to build them. I marvel at how he has blended numerous materials other than wood and kept it all together.
Sure makes you think.
I'm blown away by the originality and quality of these items.
Wow. what an inspiration to all.
The work was an inspiration that tempted me to the referenced sites,where I could enjoy and relax with the different wood work style!
fabulous work, the smallness of the parts and the fine joinery are dizzying for me to consider as a style to tackle. but I would love to see more of this man's work.
First I'm wondering why the article was not written in the perspective of Atsushi Hanano who built the piece.why is Michael Hurwitz's given any credit when his assistant built the cabinet.Also i think there is a missprint on the no: of hours it took to build the door. it says it took more than 20 weeks to complete the door.I think it's more like 20 hours to build the door.If it took more than 20 weeks to build that door he would not be my assistant. thanks for your time . I have been buying fine Wood Working since 1984. Thank You Mike Weber
Amazing work that spans so many different materials, techniques, and furniture types yet is homogeneous. The work is light and airy but doesn't seem fragile. I enjoyed listening to the inspirations behind the designs.
This week's prize is a 7-piece router bit set from Whiteside valued at $118!
Grids and cutouts define a practical piece
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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