Mike Mikutowski was born in 1957 and raised in South St. Paul, Minnesota. His father, an architect, and his uncle, an impressionist painter, gave Mike his appreciation for art and design.
While still in high school, Mike began working with various media including wood, metal and plastics. His first business venture was constructing custom-fit goalie masks out of fiberglass for fellow hockey goaltenders. He received the commission to make the mask used by the USA Olympic Goaltender Marc Behrend in the 1984 Olympic Games.
In 1980, Mike graduated from UW-Stout with a degree in Industrial Design and Industrial Education. He taught woodworking in Northfield, Minnesota before taking a leave to do graduate work in wood technology. Mike then worked as an industrial model builder until 1986 when he decided to devote his energy to full-time woodworking and design.
Mike has written technical articles for Fine Woodworking magazine and received 3rd place in the Presto Design Contest for products for the disabled. He also was awarded 2nd place in the international box competition in Seattle, Washington sponsored by NW Galleries of Fine Woodworking. His most recent honor was the commission by Xerox Corporation to design and make the memorial urns presented by President Bush to the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.
Mike Mikutowski is committed to excellence in design, function and workmanship. His passion is to create a design in which the natural luster and rich grain can be blended to form beautiful contrasts. Only the finest domestic and exotic hardwoods are used to inspire consistency in the quality of these functional pieces.
Mike is also committed to raising environmental awareness and minimizing waste. He continues to design pieces which integrate the small samples of off-all, thus generating little scrap. Any wood that is determined to be unusable is donated to the local community schools, nursing homes, and elderly services programs for art and craft education.
Mike and Liz encourage everyone age 18-60 to join the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). Each year 30,000 people are diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening blood diseases for which a blood stem cell transplant may represent the only hope for a cure. Of these, only 30% will find a matched donor in their own family. The others rely on the NMDP and its registry of volunteer donors. When you become a donor through the NMDP, you are participation in an effort to give patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases a second chance at life.