The question most ask of Galen Carpenter is "Are they wood?" Galen is modest about the wood vessels he makes in his Sedona, Arizona workshop. He envisions form, color and wood grain all interacting while making these eye-catching, one-of-a-kind art pieces. His work has been described as having the formal purity of classical pottery and the sophistication of fine furniture.

Carpenter, a self-taught turner, combines different woods cut into segments and laminated in such a way that the turning process exposes striking geometric patterns. His pallette incorporates turquoise, coral, bone, antler, and epoxy, along with domestic and exotic woods.

Although a vessel shape may be repeated, he never duplicates any piece exactly, and he is always devising new forms and wood combinations. Many times he draws his creative inspiration form the colors of the woods, other times the forms themselves. All his pieces have walls of approximately one-eighth of an inch. He admits to an occasional puncture. Each segment is planned on the drawing board, then precisely cut and laminated. It takes a great deal of time to make each segment.


Born in a small Kansas town, Galen spent most of his life in rural areas where quality and workmanship are expected in whatever you do. His belief that each piece is his best effort limits his output about 120 signed and dated vessels per year. An elegant synthesis of technical skill, natural beauty, sophisticated design, and Carpenter's obvious affinity for his medium, has created a demand for the vessels since he first began making them. In the intervening years they have found their way into many prestigious galleries and private collections across the country.

  • Best of Show - American Craft Exposition, Evanston, IL
  • Award of Excellence - Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, DC
  • Honorable Mention - Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, DC
  • Clark & Madara Award - Philadelphia Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA
  • Award of Excellence - American Craft Council - Bellevue, WA
  • First in Wood - Cherry Creek Art Festival, Denver, CO
  • Best of Show - 57th St. Art Fair Chicago, IL
  • First Prize - Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ
  • Best of Show - Sun Valley Art Festival, Sun Valley, ID
  • Board of Directors Award - Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Tampa, FL

The Signature Shop & Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia presently carries Galen's work.

3267 Roswell Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30305




the gallery


Photography by George Post