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Elegant and Unique
Glendon Good’s furniture feels
as great to look at as it does to use

When 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 said.

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 the means.”

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 aesthetic integrity.”

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,” he said.

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 contemporary furniture.

Check out Good online (abraxasarts.com).

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