Gene Kelly is a master woodworker with over forty-five years of experience. His mastery of the art of woodworking ranges from wood-turning (with a specialty in segmented turned artifacts) to furniture design and construction, to sculpture and carving. In recent years, he has been busy producing a unique line of handmade furniture honoring the style popularized by the late Sam Maloof (1916 – 2009).
Much of Kelly’s work is borne of his own imagination and influences, but he has also created a number of pieces as a result of direct commissions. His versatility as a designer and craftsman, and his expertise in such a highly specialized art form, has garnered him national and international recognition. He was profiled by Sacramento Magazine in April 2014, and several of his recent commissions were presented to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, HRH Prince Harry, and Pope Frances.
Kelly’s line of furniture, inspired by the aforementioned Sam Maloof, also incorporates aspects of Greene & Greene and the Craftsman movement. He uses the highest quality hardwoods available (Figured hardwood is a personal favorite), which are often locally harvested and dried. With each piece of handmade furniture, Kelly always ensures that the raw beauty of the wood’s natural grain and texture stands out, with special consideration of the design’s durability, visual elegance, and comfort. His furniture designs include custom tables, cabinets, rockers, chairs, and more.
In addition to his furniture, Kelly has carved out an impressive niche creating wood turned vessels on a lathe (inspired by Native American and other ancient cultures). Many of his vessels use hundreds of individually crafted segments in their construction; they are carved and incised to enhance the design, with intricate oak leaves, eagles’ feet, medallions, and other motifs.
Kelly’s work can be found in private collections from coast to coast. His functional wood art has also been featured at Gallery M in Half Moon Bay and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts. As a General Contractor, he has enjoyed designing and constructing custom homes, kitchens and wine cellars/rooms.