Fine Craftsmanship & Design
Trained in Oxfordshire, at England’s leading college for furniture designer/makers, Gary Rawlins was heavily influenced by the traditions of England’s greatest “Arts and Crafts” leaders of the past, as well as England’s best contemporary furniture makers. From Ernest Gimson and Ernest and Sidney Barnsley, to John Makepeace, Alan Peters, Jeremy Broune, and Edward Barnsley, Gary credits his exposure to the “English Scene” for his success here in America. “My training and experiences in England (1984-1987) gave me a very sound basis in design and traditional craftsmanship. I feel most fortunate to have had the opportunity to study directly under several of England’s best craftsmen. Their sense of quality and tradition gave me first-hand knowledge of not only what was possible, but of what was expected of a ‘world class’ furniture maker.”
It was back in California, while working in his shop in Santa Monica, that Gary chose to follow the quiet, sensitive path of the “impractical cabinetmaker,” James Krenov.
After further training at Krenov’s school in Northern California in 1991, and, again in 1993-94, Gary set up shop in the San Francisco Bay area. His successes there were immediate. The four pieces that he entered in the “Excellence in Woodworking” show, at the Sonoma County Museum (1994), were highly acclaimed by the panel of judges, and his “No Glass Showcase” was given an “Award of Merit” for its sensitive use of exotic woods, and, for its excellent craftsmanship and design. These show pieces also caught the attention of filmmaker Barry Levinson, who immediately chose Gary to design and make the furniture for his new Arts and Crafts style home in the town of Ross.
After completing more than twenty pieces for the Levinson home, Gary again chose to show two of his most recent pieces at the Sonoma County Museum (1996). A side table made of wenge and walnut was purchased from the show by cartoonist Charles Shultz.