Artist Biography

Background: George Bentley – Master Hand Engraver

George M. Bentley, born in 1957 and raised in Greenwich, Ct. and Ephraim, Wi. He is the son of Constance Bentley of New York City, N.Y. and Door County, and the late Lester W. Bentley, portrait painter of Manitowoc and Two Rivers,Wi.

George attended the University of Ct., Wester Washington University and the Rhode Island School of Design. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Designs School of Architecture in 1983 with a Bachelors of Industrial Design and a Bachelors of Fine Arts.

Ornamental Clock Dial

Hand Engraved Ornamental Clock Dial

After school he apprenticed with Jose Grant of Stamford, Ct. He worked as a bench jeweler there for three years. In 1985 he studied under Tilden Swenson of Little Rock, Arkansas and learned the fine art of hand engraving.

George married in 1984 and he and his wife settled in Free Union, Va. in 1986. It is here that George started his jewelry and fine hand engraving business working from his custom home studio in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

George’s reputation spread through the Charlottesville, Virginia community where he created custom jewelry and engraves trophies, family crest rings, silver services and personalized one of a kind commemorative pieces. He is known for his meticulous work and is one of a very few fine hand engravers in the country.

A renewed dedication to his work in 2011 gave George reason to relocate back to Ellison Bay Wisconsin. He now works amongst the beauty of the Great Lakes. Inspiration from nature and the quiet of his remote workshop has taken his hand engravings to levels of extraordinary perfection.

In 1983 George was awarded a gold medal by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors at their 50th anniversary national crafts competition for engraving a 16 inch brass clock dial for a clockmaker Paul Fisk of Virginia.

In October of 2001, George and Phebe purchased the former Starry Night Gallery / Tria Gallery in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin. It is now operated under the name Renaissance Gallery and Studios. George is in the process of restoring a 1880’s log barn complex. George works on the gallery floor as a commissioned goldsmith and fine hand engraver from August through October.