Mike Jarvi is known as a steam bender and as the inventor of the one-piece table and bench. Born in 1952 in the upper peninsula of Michigan, he was known and worked as a residential framer and log cabin builder. Mike’s one-piece concept was conceived while working on the property of Crab Tree Farm, a complete working farm and historical collection of decorative arts and crafts located on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1998 the owner of Crab Tree recognized Jarvi had a certain flair for woodwork and suggested a two-year course at Parnham, the John Makepiece School of Woodworking in Beaminster, England. Returning from this pivotal time, Jarvi set up Crabtree woodshop and Jarvi Furniture – a place where ideas seem to form in a friendly atmosphere, design is recognized as a team sport and work continues in the “Spirit of Steam.”
“Billowing steam pours out at 210 degrees as the chamber pops open, the clock is ticking and every move has been rehearsed – there is no time to waste. Cooking for 4 hours and now there is only 6 minutes to twist it into its new shape. The jigs are ready, and built to take the strain. Putting the fear of failure behind me, it has taken numerous attempts before achieving my goal to form a bench by bending one solid piece of wood. In the “Spirit of Steam,” new ideas will continue to form as I challenge myself with the possibilities of this material.”
The Materials-Based Research Grant is a new, pilot grant from initiative from CCCD that will support the expanding definition of craft-based research and promote collaboration between the fields of Craft, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).