Art Espenet Carpenter


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.

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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
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I went looking today for a website that had a photo or two of his work,
didn't
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

David Marks apparently studied under him as well as others. He has a writeup on his website at:
http://www.djmarks.com/stories/djm/Remembering_Art_Carpenter_98808.asp
~Mark.
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