Michael Puryear Furniture Maker

Michael Puryear

Shokan, New York

As a studio designer/furniture maker I provide a service to imaginative and discerning clients by designing and building to their special needs. I work primarily in wood because of its natural warmth and appeal to the hand.

My aesthetic reflects an appreciation of the clarity and directness of Shaker and Scandinavian design.  The material cultures of Japan, Africa and other traditional societies also influence me. I find forms and gestures in the natural and the constructed world to be a rich vocabulary to draw from.

Sometimes I approach design as a problem solving exercise.  This provides an anchoring perspective from which to pursue a creative solution. At other times it is the form that is resonant and I seek a way to express it in a piece of furniture.  The actual building of a piece also acts as a feedback loop for future exploration.  There are conceptual themes or ideas that run through my work.  The Arch Coffee Table, for example, is one of a series of pieces where I explore the implied support of an arch by having a surface appear to float above it.

I wish to imbue my work with “shibui”, the Japanese term for simple elegance.  This often involves curved elements and contrasting woods.  This simplicity belies the complexity of the problem of creating and joining these elements aesthetically while maintaining full function in the design. MichaelPuryear.com

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