Robert Hall Bennett was born and raised on the San Joaquin-Sacramento river delta of northern California. From his early years, Robert was often on the water and developed an appreciation for both boats and the natural surroundings of the area. In college, he developed an interest in photography and in 1976 moved to Seattle to begin his first profession as a nature and wildlife photographer.
The attention to detail necessary to photography proved an asset to Robert’s growing interest in woodworking. In 1986, after moving to Whidbey Island and building a home, he began working as a cabinetmaker on private yachts and commercial vessels around Puget Sound. In 1996, he made woodworking his primary occupation and began to create fine custom furniture and cabinets. Currently working in a 1400 square foot shop, Robert works largely by himself, bringing in help for major projects such as large kitchens and the occasional yacht interior.
Robert’s designs are of many styles but the combined historical influences of Charles and Henry Greene and James Krenov are incorporated into many of Robert’s creations, along with touches of Shaker and Asian furniture’s simple elegance.
The construction details of his furniture are steeped in traditional joinery methods with modern techniques and materials used when they represent a clear structural or esthetic advantage. Mortises and tenons are utilized on most tables and chairs, sometimes pegged and plugged with contrasting diamonds of ebony. Exotically figured veneers, often shop sawn, are put to imaginative use while helping to conserve hardwood forests. With the same purpose in mind, whenever possible Robert selects his solid materials from stocks of certified sustainable lumber.