April 16-18, 2004
The Philadelphia Furniture & Furnishings Show is nationally acclaimed as the finest exhibition of studio-made products for the home and office. Now in its ninth year, the show has grown by leaps and bounds. While most of the 250 juried professionals from across the United States are furniture makers, over 40 percent are showing home furnishings such as handmade paper lighting, modernist patterned rugs, sleek silverware, glass and ceramic vases and intricately inlaid boxes. Limited production and one-of-a-kind work for the bedroom, garden, home office, boardroom and kitchen runs the gamut from innovative contemporary designs to adaptations of classical styling to interpretations of the American rural aesthetic.

SHOW after the SHOW


Studio Furniture - part 1

April 30 - July 31, 2004


Function+Art is proud to once again participate in and support the PFFS. The show’s producers, furniture makers themselves, have worked tirelessly to mount an exhibition of both high quality and variety. For 2004, we bring you the work of four talented makers (Richard Bennett, Chris Martin, Ed Pennebaker, David Orth & Alex Roskin)- we are certain you will be as captivated by their works and talent as we are. Enjoy the show, and remember Booth #404.
SHOW PHONE - 312.371.1279


(MI) A self-taught sculptor and furniture designer from Detroit, his works have been exhibited in major cities around the world, including New York, Chicago, Paris, and Tokyo . Mr. Bennett has also executed a number of important public commissions, including several for Detroit’s Museum of African-American History. Private furniture, architectural, or sculptural commissions are truly this man’s forte!
Interestingly, Richard’s initial experiences with metal(s) came as a structural welder for industrial and aerospace companies… from that background, he has gained a mastery of nearly all means of metal joinery and welding, and a level of precision in his own work that surpasses most artists… he truly deserves the title “craftsman”. Relentlessly exploring the relationship between angles and curves, his designs all seem lighter than the space they occupy – a condition which has led critics to observe that his works “flirt with gravity”. An excerpt from Interiors Magazine …
An excerpt from Interiors Magazine (July, 93) states “...His familiarity with stone, steel, and wood is reflected in the grace with which he mixes them, and in the ease with which he moves back and forth between art and furniture, blurring the lines at will….”



a professor at Iowa State University, melds his fascination of the feudal time of the samurai and the life of the medieval knight with his insatiable appetite for exploring new materials and techniques… His furniture is an elegant, graceful combination of wood and metal, informed by influences ranging from Iowa landscapes to feudal Japan.
Ancient times seem to echo in Chris' work; sturdy lumber reminiscent of Medieval castles, combined with almost-delicate steel fabrications evocative of a Samurai's blade and finished with rich patinas result in contemporary furnishings which suggest their own storied history.
The result is furniture that has a fine, lyrical quality about it, while at the same time letting the materials speak with their own, often powerful, voice. His passion for exploration of material... and process, is apparent in texture and finish; finely crafted, yet revealing the maker's hand.


(click thumbnail for print-quality image)
Blue-Rose-Milk Cluster #69;  188 Blown-glass pieces; 7 feet in length; $8500 
(AR) Contemporary translation of ancient Venetian techniques and styles to make engaging, colorful, jaw-dropping light fixtures - pendants and chandeliers - and sculptural "clusters". Working with a palette of over 16 colors, Pennebaker creates his fixtures from as few as 40 to as many as several hundred individual elements. The resulting lighted sculptures can be vibrant and bold, like a circus, or understated and classic, suggesting a dark-paneled library. Either way, the spikes, curlies, and melons are sure to add a touch of drama to any room!
Of course, the most important aspects of glass making are light, color and form. Ed creates his work to take advantage of luminosity: light coming through the glass reveals texture and pattern and casts colors and shadows so the glass work interacts with its environment and becomes a pure visual feast. The jewel-like colors of glass, the individual forms of the pieces, and the light from within work as a group and function as a chorus of voices.
Ed's inspiration comes primarily from nature: the many vines, fruits, and plants in the wild... grape vines and honeysuckle, sprouting buds, leaves, fruit, and seed pods present a variety of expressive shapes and forms.
The fluidity of glass is expressed in the curvilinear forms; its voluptuousness is expressed in the globular, melon shapes - ready to burst with ripeness. Arkansas' winter also provides inspiration: under masses of icicles that have melted and refrozen, Ed surveys mounds of ice globules with wonderful textures, patterns, and optical qualities; frozen luminous transparent forms with colorful moss, rocks, and leaves visible underneath which are then referenced in his chandeliers and clusters.


(IL) David Orth believes that art is an opportunity to understand something important about life. For him, furniture - the sculpture we all live closest to - is full of latent connections between philosophy, science, religion, and ordinary, day-to-day concerns.
In the early years Orth worked naively, "just building solid, truthful furniture". This simple, rigorous process evolved slowly into a reputation for startling, provocative structures and a respectful facility with metals, woods, and other materials. Orth articulates his themes through dynamic structural relationships alluding to the forgotten and hidden forces in life. Current work is largely crafted in bronze with details of concrete, steel, and weathered wood.
The "New Art Examiner" has ranked Orth's furniture among the "most sophisticated work, displaying an articulate, loving sense of craftsmanship drawn from the past...sustained conceptually by...humor and personal vision....highly sensual...finely tuned...consistent...truly 'art furniture.'"

Alexander Roskin

(NY) Alex Roskin received his BFA degree in sculpture from Alfred University, School of Art and Design, and then honed his craft in a traditional English-style furniture apprenticeship. He earned his MFA in Furniture design soon after at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is now an assistant professor at Hofstra University teaching sculpture and 3-d design. Alex maintains his studio in Claverack NY.

Alex believes that a firm footing in craft (whatever craft that may be, from hand cutting dovetails to the perfectly beaded TIG weld) is the first step to understanding how to work a material toward successful expression. Alex’s most recent work grew out of his reverence for anatomy. His skeletal series reflects the seemingly simple yet highly complex mechanics of this physical armature. The skeletons’ hardened mineral forms left behind in its peaceful retires after all else has dissolved.

The function of furniture (the chair specifically) offers a challenge to the maker, which is absent in a piece made solely to be looked at. The scale, ergonomics, engineering, and finally sculptural intent must all be thoroughly examined and integrated for a piece to succeed in this level of personal experience.


1046 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

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