June 22 - 24, 2018 Western Gateway Park Friday & Saturday 11AM - 10PM
Sunday 11AM - 5PM

Tony Casper

Oconomowoc, WI Medium:Wood Booth:GN58 Artist Website Email Tony Casper

I started making furniture when I was 10. I had the good fortune of a few patient and skilled mentors, who taught me the use of tools, as well as the love of local furniture woods, particularly walnut and butternut. During high school summers, I worked for a boat building and repair shop in Pewaukee, WI. where I was the “mahogany splashboard guy.” Later I learned about and worked with other woods; Koa, tiger and bird’s eye maple, Padouk, Wenge, zebra wood, red and white quarter sawn oak. 

My furniture begins with the top piece of wood. If a board is strikingly beautiful and has a certain “movement” in the grain, also known as chatoyancy, then it becomes the visual focus of my efforts. The other boards used to complete the piece are selected for color and sometimes contrast. 

I use traditional joint making techniques; mortise and tenon, and dovetails for drawers. The work of the late George Nakashima has been a big influence in my approach to wood. I integrate the sometimes rustic “live edge” with very refined legs, slabs and fluid shapes. My wife and I are fortunate to have inherited a large coffee table made by Mr. Nakashima in the early 60’s. It is a source of joy and inspiration, and it challenges me to create the best piece of art that I can.