While I never met this gentleman, I am almost positive that I've
seen his work. I also know that he was a mentor and guiding light
to many contemporary woodworkers.
Quoted Text Here
BOLINAS, Calif. (AP) - Art Espenet Carpenter, a self-taught woodworker
whose spare but sexy furniture received national acclaim and influenced
generations of master craftsmen, died. He was 86.
Carpenter suffered a fatal heart attack Thursday at his home in
Bolinas, the Marin County town he helped make a haven for artists after
another house he spent eight years building and furnishing was featured
in Life magazine in 1966, said his son, Tripp Carpenter.
Known professionally as Espenet, the elder Carpenter produced pieces
that now are in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution and were
exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary
Crafts in New York City. In 1984, the California Legislature passed a
resolution naming him a "living California treasure."
Tripp Carpenter, who studied under his father and followed in his
professional footsteps, said his father's best-known piece was a
"wishbone" chair. Although he never wanted to repeat himself as an
artist, he made several hundred of the chairs to support himself and
his family, the son said.
Born in New York in 1920, Carpenter enlisted in the Navy after
graduating from Dartmouth College. After World War II, he promised
himself he would spend the rest of his life doing something he enjoyed.
Supporting himself on a $100 monthly GI Bill pension, he moved to San
Francisco and turned out bowls while learning the woodworker's craft.
Another of Carpenter's well-known furniture designs was a desk that
features scalloped seashell sides. In a 1983 interview for the DIY
Network, Carpenter described his flowing furniture designs as
"carpenter-style, practical and utilitarian."
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press
I went looking today for a website that had a photo or two of his work,
Click to see the full signature.