Michael Coffey: Furniture Maker and Sculptor in Wood

Pointed Leaf Press

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Michael Coffey: Furniture Maker and Sculptor in Wood unsettles the conventional distinction between craftsman and artist, which is often assumed to be the difference between creating something new, as opposed to reproducing old forms. Inspired by but not beholden to artist-craftsmen such as George Nakashima, Wendell Castle, and Jack Rogers Hopkins, Coffey’s handmade, one-of-a-kind works seamlessly combine the irregular forms of nature, an aesthetic built on the variable and unexpected, with a deep sense for the haptic and functional qualities of wood. This book includes not only a generous reproduction of Coffey’s body of work, but also an in-depth autobiographical reflection on how his formative experience, from his rural and bohemian childhood to community organizing, and to the discovery of his passion for woodworking, molded him into the sculptor and artisan he is today. Coffey makes all his work in his western Massachusetts studio, deeply integrating his life and practice. This reflects the work itself, as this book makes clear, Coffey’s pieces that are both uniquely sculptural but also highly functional, recognizing the complex relationship people have with the objects they choose for their space. His pieces are meant to be lived in.
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