"The spark of my work is passion – a love affair with curving lines and sensual forms, an urge to play with the orderly rules of design. But the process of transforming these sentiments into a useful and successful piece of furniture is lengthy, deliberate and painstaking. I do not design and make furniture by the seat of my pants. In my world of design guidelines, the artistic message must be conveyed simply and forcefully. The piece must work well for its user. It must last beyond our life time. It must conform to the highest standards of engineering in terms of balance and strength. I never go into the shop to start construction on a piece until I know exactly what I am going to do and how I am going to implement these goals."
So says Michael Coffey, who, in 1978, awed the design world with his Aphrodite rocking chair. The chair was the culmination of decades of studing and teaching of woodworking. Ever after, Coffey has continued his practice, sculpting furniture of limitless beauty, distinct for its elegant balance, supple curves and clever, functional design.
But the work is anything but effortless; its creation is nothing like the godess who inspired it, who emerged fully formed from the sea: Coffey's sculptural chair is the product of many years of expertise, and many hundreds of hours of labor (albeit a labor of love).
Please enjoy the presentation below, a slideshow detailing the arduous process behind the creation of one of Coffey's most graceful and well known pieces. For a more thourough experience, watch the video which follows, in which Coffey himself explains each of the steps in detail.
And for any further questions about Michael Coffey's process or furniture, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.