Friday, June 6, 2008

Gary Knox Bennett - Another Jewel in the Jingletown Crown

When Isaiah and Julia Zagar were in Oakland, they told us about their friend, Gary Knox Bennett, an art furniture maker who lives nearby here in Oakland.

An artistic giant of a man, Gary combines enormous talent for sculptural form with unique genius for finding beauty in unconventional materials such as ColorCore and other man-made matrials that he intigrates into his natural wood works of art.

He works like a dervish to produce entire groups of pieces that dissect a myriad of possibilities. His furniture exhibits functionality and meticulous craftsmgnizably American sensibility.

He builds on the fly, incorporating an array of materials and objects. Bennett's work has made him an icon, and among other things, he has been referred to as the "oldest of the second generation of studio furniture makers." In his early 70's, Gary is said to still have the enthusiasm of a 21-year-old.

Gary's wonderful book, published by The American Craft Museum, is available at most bookstores and through

"I was once introduced in Berea, Ky., as the Hunter S. Thompson of woodworking," he says. "God damn, I always loved that. I just thought that was terrific. It's just mouth-wise."

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