The Society of American Period Furniture Makers has selected Charles (Chuck) Bender of Jim Thorpe, Pa. as the 2022 recipient of its Cartouche Award for lifetime achievement and contributions made to the genre.
Bender, 57, is the founder of the Acanthus Workshop and a former senior editor at Popular Woodworking. Bender told Woodshop News that he’s deeply humbled by the award.
“I’m just amazed that the judges for this actually held my work in the same company as [previous winners] Phil Lowe, Tony Kubalak and others. I do what I do and don’t think about it in terms of being in the same league as those guys.”
Bender, 57, started woodworking at age 12 and immediately gravitated to period furniture.
“In seventh or eighth grade I took a class trip down to Colonial Williamsburg and [after] looking at the furniture in the museums and going into the cabinet shop, I just sort of felt at home with it, in spite of the fact that my parents were into 1950’s polyester furniture,” he says.
Bender studied under Werner Duerr at Central Chester County (Pa.) Vocational Technical School. He spent nearly 10 years working with Irion Company Furnituremakers where he became head of case and chair production. He opened his own business in 1991 and founded the Acanthus Workshop, a school for avocational woodworkers, in 2007.
A few of Bender’s favorite styles include Chippendale, William and Mary, and historic Pilgrim pieces.
Bender will receive the award at the SAPFM’s Mid-Year conference, scheduled for June 24-27 in Fredericksburg, Va.
This article was originally published in the February 2022 issue.