The Gary Mead Gallery: Furniture that is Art

Last weekend, in the Catskills, I dragged my husband to the Gary Mead Gallery at Fruitful Furnishings, which had been on my list to check out. I am always looking for new sources, and I love to find talented people who can make custom pieces.

welcome sign at studio saying to let yourself in

It is a bit off the main road, but numerous signs led us there. A sign on the door says to let yourself in, have a look around and make sure to sign the guestbook. So we did. We browsed the gallery and its selection of beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind furniture made from a variety of different woods. Quickly my husband and I realized that we were looking at more than furniture; it was art.

gary mead studio

We signed the guest book and were on our way out when Gary Mead came driving up. With a warm greeting, he asked if we saw everything, including the back room. What backroom?

With that we went back in, and I am so glad we did. Gary took us on tour and proudly educated us about each piece. His passion for trees, his craft, and design came through loud and clear. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to him speak about his furniture, different woods, and the hours it took to complete each piece. Our appreciation grew as we learned the story of each piece.

Dining Table at the Gary Mead Gallery

Gary explained that the shape of the tree inspired the design of the table in the picture. He crafted from Cherry, Wormy Soft Maple and Walnut. The grain of the wood and curvature of the table are stunning.

Kitchen Pantry

kitchen pantry made from a tree
Kitchen Pantry
kitchen pantry made from a hollow tree
Kitchen Pantry

When we toured the gallery by ourselves, we saw a tall tree-shaped structure but never opened it. We thought it was a unique piece and figured it was a type of stand-alone building because of the hinged doors, but we didn’t know what it was exactly. When Gary took us back in to show us around, we learned it was a kitchen pantry, titled Mother and Child. We were amazed to see an over-sized working lazy-susan made entirely of wood. The inside of the doors had shelves composed with grapevine. This piece was not only beautiful, but it was incredibly functional.

Honey Bee Tree Table

He also showed us some round pub like tables he composed from a honey bee tree. Gary explained the bees hollow out the tree, and he uses them as the table base. When you sit at the table, you could see down inside the log.

bee tree table
Honey Bee Tree Tables

Cider Press Table

In the back room Gary showed us an impressive table composed out of an old 50 ton cider press base in service from  1939-2007. He explained how the table has iron rods going through it to keep the table together. The bolts on the ends can be loosened and tightened when the wood expands and contracts. It also allows for the table to be taken apart to transport, which otherwise would be difficult because of its size and weight.

big wood table

“From the Forest” Sculpture

woodland creatures chainsaw carvings

Out the backdoor, Gary has a sculpture titled “From the Forest” that he collaborated with chainsaw artist Hoppy Quick to complete. The piece is vast and impressive. I asked Gary who he would market this piece to. His answer was admirable. He said he would not sell this piece to a private owner. It needs to be in a public space so that it can be enjoyed by many.

carved tree forest animals

If you are in the Catskills, I encourage you to visit the gallery. Call before you go to make an appointment with Gary for a personal tour. When you meet Gary, I guarantee you will fall in love with trees and his craft. His enthusiasm is 100% contagious.

Gary also has written several educational books for children about our environment:“MY FIRST TREE BOOK, SWEET SAP, MY SECOND TREE BOOK, and LOOK UP” Follow the link to check them out.

Contact information for the Gallery :  Phone 845-586-3638 email-

I hope you found the time to read my last two posts: Sherwin Williams Color Forecast for 2020 is a Homerun and What to expect in luxury home decor fabrics for 2020 from the Robert Allen and Duralee Group. Coming next will be a post about furniture trends for 2020. If you enjoy keeping up on trends and can use some ideas for making your home perfect for you, please subsribe.

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Barbara Rose

Hi I am Barbara Rose. I am an Interior Designer and I started design2bhappy to inspire others to think of Interior Design as more than just creating a beautiful home. It is about living comfortably, while being surrounded by things you love. It is about creating an environment that we feel good in while providing a sanctuary to counter- balance the stress that life can throw at us. This blog is aimed at helping others achieve that "there is no place like home" feeling.

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