February 15, 2017
As shown on PBS RI, RIIFF, and the Vasundhara Film Fest in India, Carla Ricci film artist creates a unique perspective. Michael Gloor creates art from things a lot of us throw away, or burn up in our fireplaces. The final products are natural and unique. Check out a behind the scenes look at what happens to a large chunk of wood in his hands.
Stumped from Carla Ricci on Vimeo.
September 22, 2011
Michael Gloor has been featured on the HGTV television series Modern Masters and his pieces have appeared in a number of publications including Home Furniture Magazine, Newport Life, Rhode Island Monthly (where he was named one of ten RI artists to collect), in three volumes of Lark Books “500” Series and Taunton Press’s Custom Furniture Source Book. His pieces are in private collections both in the United States and abroad.
August 17, 2011
I take much of my inspiration from the past, and admire the clean lines of Shaker furniture and the simplicity and forms of Japanese ceramics. I have a very strong sense of line and volume and it is the nuances in proportion that makes a piece work. In furniture design, as in ceramics, small variations can make the difference between a strong form and a weak one.
Each of my pieces is quite different; I see images and play with shapes and ideas in my head and my style is ever-evolving. As I build, the design takes shape and I don’t always know where it will go until I’m done. Even when I do a piece in the same series, it’s not identical; I change it as I go, even if it’s only small details. In contrast, production furniture, not matter what the cost, is inert when it leaves the designers desk. It’s a drawing on a piece of paper which then never changes whether the final realized object is made by hand or machine.
For me the process is about honing your technique to allow you to give voice to your designs. It’s a circular process in that as you get better at designing that challenges your technique and as that improves it challenges your design sense. It’s about continually learning and being open; creativity is having a conversation, a dialogue with your materials. If your technique is good, it allows you to be a good listener. It’s like writers whose characters take on a life of their own and tell the author who they are and what they need.
The artistic process creates a relationship between the object and the observer; the maker and the user. It’s really a spiritual process; a link to the person who made the chair or the cup, who has literally inscribed themselves into the piece. It draws us back to the idea of the interconnectedness of all things. Art is a great part of what makes us human.
July 27, 2011
Artist Michael Gloor’s contemporary, eclectic, furniture does not fit neatly into one category and his style is constantly evolving. He is influenced by the simplicity of Shaker design, the formality of oriental architecture and the asymmetry of Japanese ceramics.
Playfulness and risk-taking are important elements of his design process; his motto has always been “work hard, play harder, passion is not optional.” Using his experience, talent and craftsmanship to transform amazing woods into a functional reality, his furniture is an expression of that philosophy.
His pieces have a strong sense of line and volume, the legacy of his life as a potter. A fusion of eastern sensibility and classic new world style, he calls this synthesis of form and spirit ‘neo Shaker meets the orient’.
Often seen as the poor relation of fine art, functional art, whether a piece of furniture, a Frank Lloyd Wright house, or a Song dynasty bowl, possesses both the unique design sense of the artist and the precision and skill of the master craftsman. It is art with a practical application and a life of its own; art which, unlike a painting admired from afar, becomes more precious and beautiful with use over time.
Each piece of Michael Gloor furniture is designed and built with impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. There is a comprehensive range of pieces, with new designs being added frequently. Though he often works in series, each piece is one of a kind; different versions are done in other wood combinations, tweaking proportions and details.
Custom-built furniture offers more than just something to sit on, eat at, or store things in. The joy and satisfaction that goes into the design and fabrication, with its technical and aesthetic challenges and attention to detail, is passed on to those who will be using and delighting in it for years to come.