Michael Foster


Michael Foster was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He went to college at the University of Colorado and then obtained his DDS degree at the CU School of Dentistry. Mike then went on to complete a 20 year career with the Public Health Service at several locations around the US. His last station was in Alaska, which he loved, but was just too dark in winter for his wife Susan. After retiring from the PHS, he and his family moved to Susan's ancestral home in Springfield, Vermont. Mike and Susan have a daughter who is newly married and expecting her first child (yeah, Mike is going to be a grandpa but hates to admit it). They also have a son who is attending an art school in Maryland majoring in sculpture and industrial design. Mike is still practicing dentistry full time but makes time to spend in the shop creating his turned objects.

Mike started woodworking soon after he graduated from dental school. He learned basic skills using the shop of a friend who got him interested. Mike bought his first woodworking tool, a Shopsmith, after moving to New York. Mike started turning on the Shopsmith slowly acquiring skills by trial and error. As his turning skills increased, he outgrew the limited turning capacity of the Shopsmith and bought a Woodfast lathe in 1992 . Using some plans from Wood magazine, he constructed his first segmented woodturning and was hooked. Mike has designed and completed numerous segmented pieces since then. After moving to Vermont, Mike built his dream shop/studio in the first floor of his renovated barn and outfitted it with some nice tools and built their kitchen cabinets for their newly renovated house, which more than paid for the tools. He now turns on a Robust American Beauty and loves it. Mike’s turning focus has shifted from segmented work to interpretations of math and science objects derived from the lathe.

Juried into CWA show for SOFA, Oct. 2012 in Chicago
Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Sylvan Forms, March-July 2012
Featured artist for delMano “Small Treaures “ show 2011
AAW Maple Medley Acer Showcase, Hartford, CT 2011
AAW Rounding the Four Corners exhibit 2008

First Place for Bowls/Vessels at Totally Turning/NWA Showcase 2012
Professional Excellence Award at Totally Turning/NWA Showcase 2011
First Place for Bowls/Vessels at Totally Turning/NWA Showcase 2011
Rich Pagano Award (best in show) at Totally Turning/NWA Showcase 2009
First Place for segmented work at Totally Turning/NWA Showcase 2009
Third Place for faceplate work at Totally Turning/NWA Showcase 2009

Fine Woodworking, 9/2011 Readers Gallery
Featured in Woodturning Design “Designer’s Showcase” Fall 2010