Glendon Good’s furniture feels
as great to look at as it does to use
Glendon Good was a young boy growing up in Southern California,
he was known as “the guy who was always building stuff.” Never
anything two-dimensional - Good liked the tangible - three-dimensional
things that were fun and exciting, like skateboard ramps.
And it never wore off.
To this day, Good builds some very unique and interesting
stuff - that’s still fun and exciting. Design and fabricating
unusual furniture and architectural products, Good has found great
inspiration in the simple.
Good began the art of furniture making out of necessity.
When attending college and living in a dorm, he needed furniture.
Building a sofa or desk that was functional and appealing were
the only requirements.
Encouraged by friends who dropped by and commented on
how much they liked the furniture, Good began making and selling
some of his art.
In college, he studied economics and Spanish. Traveling
to Spain to further his studies, Good received a scholarship to
study for a year in Mexico.
He lived in Mexico City and attended college there,
studying international affairs from a Mexican perspective. He
found their view of history interesting. But what really intrigued
him was their art.
Living close to one of the major museums, Good visited
often. He found Mexico’s art to be “tremendous” and was particularly
drawn to their architectural art. Intrigued by their imaginative
use of detail and color, he was inspired to pursue his own craft.
That was in 1986. By 1989, Good was focused and working
full-time at creating modern, decorative, sensually-curved furniture.
In 1990, he began his own company, Abraxas - his design
philosophy being one of “practicality and economy of form, with
no unnecessary decoration.” Good’s designs are composed of unique
and simple forms that express an artful approach to life. The
fundamental statement of Abraxas is one of “elegance and minimalism.”
Abraxas is the Egyptian God of Light. And light is very
important to Good in its interaction with the materials he uses.
He showed me the curve of an aluminum joint as an example. The
morning sun was shining in on it - making it neon bright.
Furniture is not the only thing Good makes. Decorative
and useful shelving, fixtures, retail displays, and custom-made
orders comprise a large part of his functional art. In fact Good
told me about 50 percent of his work are custom-made pieces.
His focus is to respond to the needs of the user and
believes that “contemporary design is about adapting our aesthetics
to changing times, and improving the way things are made,” he
Good uses only the highest quality, all-natural material
to build his furniture. From aluminum, glass, leather, and wood,
his pieces embody a poetic energy of creativity.
Sitting on a very comfortable sofa in Good’s studio
while we talked, I was eyeing a simply designed leather chair.
It looked as if it formed to your body, but I was skeptical. I’d
sat in similar looking lounge chairs, but never found them comfortable.
Discreetly, I wandered over and sat on it - slid into
it is more accurate. Like the sofa, it was extremely comfortable
and lovely to look at. I imagined myself sitting and reading a
book, sipping coffee and listening to Bach. Ahhhh.
Good told me that function and aesthetics are equally
important in his building of furniture.
I asked him why he chose this type of art. Like his
furniture, his answer was simple. “It is my natural inclination.”
Good likes clean lines and things without extra decoration.
His use of wood is minimal and he does that for a reason. He wants
it to accent his pieces but not be the primary focus. He keeps
his art “simple, efficient and beautiful.”
Ideas begin in this completely self-taught artist’s
head. He lets them “swim around in there” for a while, “incubate
and grow.” Then he takes out pencil and paper and starts working
out the details. Sketching with consideration of smooth, efficient
lines, and figuring out how to make the joints fit properly, can
take a lot of time. Good then goes to the computer and creates
a CAD drawing. These are formal drawings for manufacturers - also
called engineering drawings. This eliminates all the guesswork
before entering the workshop.
“When the real fun begins,” Good smiled.
Using mostly drills and saws, Good tries not to be too
tool oriented. “I’m more into the materials I use, tools are just
For Good, the foundation of his work is geometry. He
seeks balance using curves and angles to define his art. “Geometry
is not only the structural integrity of the piece, but also the
This is what makes his furniture exciting and innovative.
Good likes making things that “people interact with.”
His furniture is the kind you develop a relationship with - something
you would hand down for generations. And, I believe there is a
piece of Good in all he creates.
“You put an energy into a thing, and then it goes out
and lives a full life,” Good said.
I reflected on a piece of furniture I have that my father
made more than 50 years ago. I lived with it as a child, inherited
it, and have moved it from home to home. It has been placed in
dozens of different rooms. Many objects have sat upon it. I’ve
lovingly polished it and noticed the tiny details so thoughtfully
put in. It has lived a full life with me and when I go, will continue
on with my son. That’s a beautiful thing!
People who own Good’s furniture have written to tell
him how much they love it. They often say it is their “favorite
piece of furniture.”
“It is gratifying to hear how it impacts their lives,”
While some see Good’s furniture as functional, and others
as art, he believes “everything we, as humans, make is really
intertwined. There are aspects of art in everything we use, from
the glasses we wear to the homes we live in.”
Good attributes his success in part to his mother’s
great influence. A successful artist, now living in New York City,
she “dragged” him and his sister to every museum and art show
she could find. Through this he gained a great appreciation for
art and looking back realizes he very much enjoyed the exposure.
Good has had editorial reviews of his art in several
magazines including House & Garden, San Francisco Chronicle,
Interior Design, Metropolitan Home, and many others. He has attended
many exhibitions and received several awards for his work throughout
the years. And he was featured in the book American Contemporary
Furniture, which states alongside his lounge chair: “Rationalism
does not preclude sensuality.”
In the making of his furniture, Good welcomes learning
through trial and error. He enjoys a good challenge – in and out
of the workshop.
He spends any free time he has partaking in physical
sports. It is not odd to see him skateboarding down Upper Red
Rock Loop Road on a starlit night.
Skiing, mountain climbing, scuba diving, hang gliding,
and hiking are just a few of the things Good finds “fun and exciting.”
That and making his unpretentious, visually stimulating, and lusciously
Check out Good online (abraxasarts.com).