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Michael Coffey

Michael Coffey

Sculptor and Furniture Maker in Wood

By (author) Michael Coffey


  • First book by master sculptor and craftsman Michael Coffey
  • Memoir that spans from the Great Depression, to the tumult of New York City in the 1960s and 1970s, to a long, dedicated career making some of the most high sought after pieces of wood furniture
  • A highly sophisticated reflection on the relationship between art and life
Full Description

Michael Coffey: Sculptor and Furniture Maker 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.

About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Michael Coffey began his professional life as a social worker, but by 1972 he was pursuing artmaking full-time. Influenced by the European Art Nouveau and 20th century craftsman studio furniture, in 1978 he produced and presented the Aphrodite Rocking Chair, a curved piece of wood, which solidified his reputation among the new generation of American furniture makers. Coffey continues to work in his home studio in West Hatfield, Massachusetts. This is his first book.

Pointed Leaf Press
7th Aug 2023
USA & Canada
14 in x 11 in
104 Pages
92 color
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