Michael de Forest from Portland, Oregon, began working with wood in the 1970s. In 2009, he traveled to Ghana and studied the art of design coffin making. He has utilized these skills to carve and craft wooden masks, one of which is six feet tall and will hang in the gallery for the April 2016 show ‘New Works by Eleven Artists.’
Michael is originally a furniture maker and artist who teaches at the Oregon College of Art and Craft and at Catlin Gabel School. He’s evolved from creating balanced, high-end furniture to a much quirkier style. The pieces he prefers now have uneven outlines, and they’re painted and carved with symbolic figures. Michael received his MFA in visual studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Michael’s Suture Series came about in part from his interest in making forms out of segments. Up to this point all of his work had been furniture and related to functional wood objects. This new work allows him to make three dimensional hollow wood human forms that are cut into segments, and then stitched back together to make it three dimensional again. The Frog Bowl is the first in the series of Suture bowls. It was made for ‘Turned Multiples III’ a wood turning exhibition in Philadelphia and St. Louis, in the spring of 2003. If was a perfect opportunity for Michael de Forest to develop smaller works and the suture idea.