For Michael Thomas Host, designer and owner of MTH Woodworks, a foraged tree stump and a trek through the woods is all it takes to bring the outside in. “My work is about making nature more functional while showcasing the organic beauty of each material,” says Host, who creates tables, headboards and wall art from his studio in Vancouver, B.C. A former yacht builder and millworker, Host draws upon his background as a bedrock for his work—his familiarity with wood and resin, his sense of scale and purpose, and his artistic expression. Working with salvaged ancient red and yellow cedar, he cuts against the grain, an atypical practice that acts as a time capsule, exposing the rings and age of each tree. “This is where the real story is,” he admits. “It’s about showcasing the history.” Creating numbered originals with upwards of 30 to 50 new pieces each year, he’s constantly evolving, pushing the boundaries of his hands-on approach with exciting results. “When I see the raw material,” he says, “that’s what gets my wheels turning and a new design begins.”
LX: How I got started:
MH: I used to spend summers building boats and underwater logging with my dad. Then in 2000, I moved to New York and started working in a wood shop in Brooklyn. These skills fused together in 2010 when the Bloom table won its first award.
LX: Current projects:
MH: I’m finishing speaker box prototypes and starting a proposal for a wall art installation.
LX: Favorite shop:
MH: Inform Interiors because of all the iconic furniture designs on display.
LX: Dream dinner party guests:
MH: Anyone who worked in Andy Warhol’s art studio, The Factory.
LX: Most people don't know:
MH: I play blues guitar, and I’m an accomplished level 5 Royal Conservatory pianist.
LX: Go-to material:
MH: I worked with resin when I built the yachts. The version I use now is soy- and peanut- based, which makes it special. It’s completely non-toxic, and that’s almost unheard of.