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.

Michael C. Fortune, RCA