This is the eternal origin of art – that a human being confronts a form that wants to become a work through him… What is required is a deed that a man does with his whole being: If he commits it and speaks with his being the basic word to the form appears, then the creative power is released and the work comes into being.
-Martin Buber, I and Thou
Bass Synagogue Furniture has provided our high-quality services to hundreds synagogues, museums, and private homes around the world. With extensive experience in Israel and North America, our work can also be found throughout Europe and as far afield as Eastern Uganda and in the forests of the Peru. At BSF we emphasize attention to detail, efficient work, high-quality materials, and excellent service in order to bring to our clients the very best product on the market at a reasonable price. Company founder and master craftsman Gabriel Bass has built Bass Synagogue Furniture, originally known as “Custom Carving,” from the ground up. His inspiration and demand for perfection is reflected in every piece that leaves the studio.
Successful art is the expression of our collective experiences, inclinations, and ability to innovate, and well-made craft is the product of learning, experience and technical mastery. Deeply exploring and experimenting with this convergence of art and craft for decades, Gabriel has created a distinctive style of furniture and Jewish art that is completely unique, elegant, and contemporary, while remaining deeply rooted in tradition. Each unique piece demonstrates the finest combination of technical mastery and exquisite design, reflecting the refined techniques and design ideas which he brought from the international contemporary crafts movement to Israel.
Bass Synagogue Furniture’s work is completely produced in Israel at the Jewish Artist Center, a 4,000 square foot studio outside of Jerusalem housing a suite of state-of-the-art wood, glass, and metal equipment. The Jewish Artist Center also offers courses taught by its leading craftsmen, as well as providing a social and business center for an expanding artist community. The two businesses work side by side in a dynamic relationship.
Gabriel is the founder of Bass Synagogue Furniture and The Jewish Artist Center, both located in Mata, a small moshav outside of Jerusalem. Originally from Seattle, Gabriel was trained in totem pole carving on the Musqueam reserve in Canada by master carver Richard Campbell, and continues to employ many of these same techniques and tools. He went on to work under carpenter Gavriel Bar-Lev in Vancouver, Canada, while simultaneously building his own business as a furniture maker and Judaica artist, and was able to display his work at some of the most prestigious art exhibits in North America. In 2002 he made aliyah to Israel and studied glass work and design at the Bezalel Academy for Art in Jerusalem. He continues to put the finishing touches on all work produced by BSF while overseeing the business end, teaching workshops, and running the glass studio.
- Glass and product design, Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem, Israel
- Glass forms, Pratt Art Center, Seattle, WA
- “Cultural Preservation Through Art,” Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
- Northwest coast woodcarving, Richard Campbell, Musqueam Reserve, BC
- Fine carpentry, Gabriel Bar Lev, Vancouver, BC