Peter Kasper

Des Moines, IA


I have an itch to create. On my family’s farm in eastern Iowa, I grew up nailing and gluing things together. I was always learning how to use tools and how to work with my hands. While I liked making furniture by reproducing other styles, it didn’t feel right unless I “made it my own” by bringing art to my furniture. Slowly, I developed my skills and built my tool collection. I studied Studio Furniture at Iowa State University, graduating with a BFA in 2012. I work sawing and processing logs to pay for my art. I have now opened my own shop in Tiffin, Iowa, and I am creating commissioned pieces and original forms.


I am inspired by my connection to the wood. Trees are like family. Each species of wood has its own personality, and each board has its own nuances and digressions. I seek out wood variations—which other people might call flaws—that enhance the character of my furniture. I am particularly interested in urban log development, which means, essentially, using logs from inside city limits. The woodworking industry rejects these trees because they are a hassle to process. After life in the city, the trees are mulched, buried in the dump, or cut for firewood. I have been able to saw these logs into lumber, and then use that lumber to create art. Studio Furniture greats such as Rosanne Somerson, Michael Hurwitz, Judy McKie, Jere Osgood, Wharton Eshrick, Kristina Madsen and Alphonse Mattia are my childhood heroes.