Jackson Hole Star-Tribune
December 9, 2007
John Gallis, founder of Norseman Designs West, was recognized with two major awards in the 20th Annual Rustic Fair held in Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y. in September. He competed with more than 55 talented rustic artisans from across the United States and Canada.
The most coveted Rustic Fair honors are the Maker’s Choice and the People’s Choice awards. Each is determined by ballot, the rustic artisans, or “makers,” select outstanding work by a peer. Rustic Fair visitors, nearly 3,000 this year, chose the winner of the People’s Choice certificate.
Gallis received both the Maker’s and the People’s Choice awards for his cantilevered “Spirit Tree Desk.”
Eight categories encompassed aspects of design and craftsmanship. Judges included folklorist Varick Chittenden, executive director of Traditional Arts of Upstate New York in Canton, N.Y. and designer Jim Hutt, co-owner of The Ideas Company/Hutt Enterprises, Inc., based in Blue Mountain Lake.
Gallis has fashioned custom furniture for more than 35 years, and has owned and designed furniture for Norseman Designs West in Cody since 1995.
Since moving west from New York City, where he was chief cabinetmaker at Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan, creating all of the store’s interior design specialty pieces, he has designed furniture that is displayed in Cody, Jackson Hole, Bozeman, Mont., and across the country.
The feel of the wood, the flow of the grain, and the customer’s wishes govern his design, bringing together imaginative sensibility and striking elegance. No two pieces are alike. Each piece is hand crafted and designed by Gallis himself.
Norseman Designs West has received 10 awards at the Western Design Conference, including Best of Show, People’s Choice, Exhibitors’ Choice, the Switchback Award, and several honorable mentions in national contests. NDW was also named one of four national winners in the 2004 Design Portfolio Awards competition conducted for the eleventh year by “Custom Woodworking Business” magazine.