Masters of the Craft

Masters of the Craft

Pro Portfolio: Michael Hurwitz: Planks into Poetry

comments (10) October 1st, 2009 in blogs, videos

JonBinzen Jon Binzen, senior editor
thumbs up 95 users recommend

Video Length: 9:28
Produced by: Jonathan Binzen

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 HimSubscribers. Read the article, Grilled to PerfectionSubscribers 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. 

posted in: blogs, videos, pro portfolio

Comments (10)

luchini luchini writes: 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.
Posted: 5:35 pm on October 29th

Dremelman Dremelman writes: 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.
Thank you.
Posted: 10:21 pm on December 3rd

Rammel Rammel writes: I'm blown away by the originality and quality of these items.
Posted: 4:03 pm on December 3rd

Blue_Rocco Blue_Rocco writes: Wow. what an inspiration to all.
Posted: 11:28 am on December 3rd

beginner1953 beginner1953 writes: Breathless!!
Posted: 7:22 pm on December 2nd

woodches woodches writes: The work was an inspiration that tempted me to the referenced sites,where I could enjoy and relax with the different wood work style!
Posted: 1:25 am on October 29th

sego sego writes: 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.
Posted: 2:03 pm on October 28th

matt_ww matt_ww writes: Wow. Mind-boggling.
Posted: 2:15 am on October 27th

mjweber mjweber writes: 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
Posted: 10:38 pm on October 5th

PurdueDan PurdueDan writes: 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.

Posted: 10:45 am on October 1st

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