Michael Finkelstein, Eco-Woodturner
                                                                    ARTIST STATEMENT

I have been an avid woodworker for over 25 years, yet it has been only since 2002 that I began woodturning bowls and hollow-forms.
I am primarily self-taught, always researching  and experimenting with new techniques to expand my knowledge of woodturning  and trees.

I woodturn from hardwoods that I personally get from tree recycling sites, the streets of Greater Toronto Area, friends and customers across Ontario.  
I often inscribe the tree location on the bottom foot of a bowl or platter. Utilizing recycled logs helps me minimize the environmental impact of my work.

Only hardwood logs with unusual shape, design or
figure in the grain are selected. I  believe that each piece of wood is unique with its own special personality.

The  mechanical  process of woodturning involves combining an understanding of wood characteristics with artistic form.  As I look at a tree log to be cut with my
chainsaw,  I try to envision the end-product bowl or vase in the tree - I cut the wet wood into various sizes of bowl and hollow-form blanks  (unturned wood).
Even the smallest pieces of wood are put to use, in the making of fine desk pens.  I enjoy working with wood that highlights  the  tree's  predominate grain pattern  
and figure in feather crotch, burls, knots, natural defects and stress cracks.  I  utilize a natural air-drying method that can take up to six months.

While I begin turning each piece with some final shape and design in mind,  the wood's  natural form, grain and figure guides and inspires me to bring out the best
characteristics in the final artistic form.   Only when I am satisfied with the result  will I engrave my *signature on it.

I enhance the beauty of each piece by applying a  hand-rubbed natural non-toxic finish.
All of my creations are intended to be functional.   Bowls and platters  are suitable for serving food.
The hollow-forms are usually wide enough to accept glass liners.

I enjoy the challenge that this craft provides because  it encompasses both a technical process and an artistic element.

My works have been featured in Canadian House & Home Magazine and have been purchased for private collections around the world.

In 2013, I was commissioned by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to create a nested set of bowls from the historic "Maple Leaf Forever" tree.
These pieces are now part of the ROM permanent collection.

Please see
Portfolio online 2011/2012.  A high-res printable PDF copy is available via e-mail.

                                                                                                         June 2016

* Signature style:  "MJ Finkelstein"
Handcrafted from environmentally recycled trees