The Bronfman Collection 
Virtual Gallery


#1 Chair Revisited

Michael Fortune — Furniture Designer and Maker

Toronto — Ontario

#1 Chair Revisited 1995 (designed 1992)
Australian lacewood and aluminum
86 cm x 66 cm x 66 cm
Collection of the artist

Michael Fortune
I believe it is essential that I achieve a balance between commissions that are a personal artistic challenge in my lifelong quest for mastery of my craft, and projects that have a broader degree of social and economic relevance to the world in which we live.

Michael C. Fortune's career in woodworking started in childhood, when his parents gave him woodworking tools as a gift. Their encouragement led him to enroll in furniture design at the Sheridan College School of Craft and Design. Graduating in 1974, Fortune then took advantage of provincial and federal travel/study grants to learn the contemporary European approach to being both a designer and maker of wood furnishings.

Following several lean years, Fortune's first major break came in 1980, when a Toronto couple commissioned him to design and build a dining table and eight chairs. This turning-point in Fortune's career has since led him to numerous public and private commissions, including a 27-foot-long boardroom table at Ontario Crafts Council headquarters in Toronto. Fortune's innovative work has brought him an international clientèle and reputation. He is acknowledged for both his technical and design expertise, and gives courses and workshops across Canada and the United States. His work has appeared in numerous exhibitions worldwide, and is part of the permanent collections of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull; the Ontario Crafts Council, Toronto; and the Claridge Collection, Montreal.

As past President of the Ontario Crafts Council, Fortune played a key role in shaping craft in Toronto and throughout Canada. His recent endeavours have included consulting with the government of Trinidad and Tobago on the design and manufacture of outdoor wood furniture.

Fortune is also a volunteer advisor to W.A.R.P. (Woodworkers Alliance for Rainforest Protection), a joint Canadian/American organization promoting sustainable and appropriate use of rainforest resources.

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