Raised in the shadow of New York City and deeply influenced by two older sisters who were highly involved in the arts, Chip Gadek learned at any early age the intoxication of creativity. “When I was a teen, I would play hooky from school and go to all the great New York museums — the Met, the Museum of Modern Art the Guggenhiem — I’d spend the whole day there,” he says. “And even now, with 25 years of building high quality furniture, I still consider myself, first and foremost, an artist.”
Gadek’s schooling took him to Colorado State University where majoring in Painting gave him absolutely no real world job abilities. After college, he moved to northern Michigan. While working as a graphic artist at a small printing company Gadek was selling two-dimensional work at regional galleries. Slowly, the paintings he was selling evolved into unique mirrors and tables. After 15 years, Chip left his job as a graphic artist to put all of his time into building ‘art furniture.’ Now with more then a thousand pieces under his belt, furniture is still what he wants to create. “I still paint for myself, but I really enjoy making things that can be used on a daily basis,” he says.
The artist now sells work in galleries throughout Michigan, Florida, Arizona and California. This is where he can work on new ideas, creating furnishings that push the envelope. And of course, this is where potential customers that might order special items, can see the beautiful handcrafted work that he offers. “My work is contemporary, but not modern. It has the ability to look good in any surrounding.” Like all fine craftsman, he only uses traditional joinery methods, such a mortise and tenon and dovetails; doing as much of the work as possible, by hand, including layer upon layer of hand-rubbed oil finishes.