About Benchmark


Since 1995, Mark and Sarah Foale and their committed team of craftsmen have been handmaking impeccably crafted bespoke outdoor furniture for discerning residential and commercial clients, both locally and abroad. Working only in solid timber (usually iroko), they focus on producing pieces that marry a timeless, clean-lined aesthetic with expert joinery, while at the same time honouring the natural and beautiful characteristics of the wood.

By his mid-twenties, Mark – a graduate of UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art – had discovered that producing fine furniture was a means to direct his creative spirit and technical skills towards practical application. Since this time, he has been particularly interested in how the natural movement of timber when exposed to the elements, can be both honoured and harnessed through the use of particular cuts and jointing systems.

The choice to specialise in outdoor furniture arose because it posed a certain challenge: it requires much more complex and robust construction methods than indoor furniture, if it is to withstand the harsh natural elements without falling apart! Even after several decades in the business, we continue to explore innovative ways to retain the integrity of the timber as is weathers, without ever compromising immaculate and dependable jointing – an on-going commitment to the best in workmanship, while honouring an elegant and harmonious aesthetic.