Generation NEXT: Meet 18 Up-and-Comers
Geoffrey Keating, 41
Colorado Springs, CO | Furniture Making
When Geoffrey Keating uses the phrase “leap of faith” to describe the move he made to leave a Ph.D. program and professor’s life to become a furniture maker, he means it in the truest sense. Keating was working toward a doctorate in theology at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana when he decided to heed a different calling. “In grad school, I started making small things for friends, and then larger pieces, like desks, for professors,” he recalls. “I realized it made so much more sense for me in terms of how happy I was. Academia just wasn’t a good fit.”
Descended from a long line of furniture makers on his mother’s side, he was exposed to the craft while growing up in Amarillo, TX. Today, his studio occupies the ground floor of an 1897 Gold Rush−era building in Colorado Springs, CO, that he and his wife, Anna, bought several years ago. They live upstairs with their two young children. His passion for the work is evident in the details of each piece, from the beautiful hand-rubbed oil finish on his preferred materials of black walnut and ash to the dovetailing on every drawer. His clients, primarily individuals and designers, hail from around the country.
Guided by a strong desire to give back, Keating also mentors art students from nearby Colorado College, sharing with them his reverence for the craft and his belief that “making furniture is an incredibly satisfying pursuit.”