Biography of Michael Foster, Dentist and Woodturner
Michael Foster was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He developed his love of the outdoors hiking and camping with his family and the with Boy Scouts in the mountains of Colorado. He went to college at the University of Colorado in Boulder followed by Dental School at the CU Medical Campus in Denver. After graduation Mike entered in the US Public Health Service to provide dentistry to Native Americans with the Indian Health Service. He completed a twenty year career with the Indian Health Service serving in several locations including South Dakota, upstate New York, Phoenix, Southern Colorado and Alaska. All of these locations, with the exception of Phoenix, were relatively rural locations which suits Mike's love of the outdoors and a quieter lifestyle. Mike met his wife, Susan while living in New York. They have raised 2 children and numerous pets over the years. Mike retired from the Public Health Service in 2002 and moved to Susan's ancestral farmhouse in Springfield, Vermont. Mike is still practicing dentistry full time. He also spends a lot of time maintaining and improving the woods and fields of his old Vermont farm and continually makes improvements to his house.
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. This is a multi-function woodworking tool which also works as a lathe. Mike soon started turning, 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 his his new lathe and 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 in the first floor of his renovated barn outfitting it with several separate stand-alone machines. He continues to turn bowls, boxes and hollow forms, but lately has ventured into carving his turned forms and explored texturing, coloring and other enhancements.