Gary Weeks, of Gary Weeks and Company Furnituremakers in Wimberley, has won the prestigious 1998 national CollinsWood Award for fine furniture craftsmanship and woos design. The award, honoring distinctive new furniture design using FSC certified CollinsWood, was given for his black cherry from the Collins Pennsylvania Forest.
“I have worked in the woods and saw,ills of East Texas and have been interested in sustainable forestry for some time,” commented Weeks. Wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) provides consumers with an assurance that the wood products they buy come from forests managed in an environmentally responsible manner.
The winning rocking chair was handbuilt in his shop where his crew of four builds rockers, dining chairs, and tables. All parts are carefully selected for strength and the display of distinctive figure when cut, shaped, and sculpted. “The seat boards (always seven from the same larger board) are doweled and glued. The arms, legs, and rockers are joined by mortise and tenon. The rockers are also laminated from bookmatched ¼” strips for strength.
“I know this doesn’t sound possible,” said Weeks, “but 98% of people, from 5’ tall to 6’4” tall, who try this rocker tell me it fits them perfectly.”
Peter Whiteley, Senior Writer for Sunset Magazine and one of the three jurors, remarked that “the lines of this rocker are graceful and inviting. I love the wide armrests. What a great place to sit with a book and a cup of coffee. Plus, Gary made a special effort to use sustainable materials, which I hope will encourage other artisans to have a long range vivion for their craft and our Earth.”
The two other national winners include Robin Tedschi of The Joinery in Portland Oregon for his certified black cherry bench titled “Robin’s Perch,” and Margaret Puckette of Corvallis, Oregon for her innovative design using FSC certified scrap pine for a “Tower of Shelves for a Child’s Room.”
In addition to Peter Whiteley, the jurors also included Bruce Plantz, Vice President and Editorial director for FDM & CabinetMaker magazines and Chris Hammer, Publisher of Green Clips and Environmental Liaison with Hellmuth, Obato & Kassabaum, Inc.