Craig Kassan – Woodworker
Complimenting Nature’s Beauty
Craig Kassan has been involved in the arts his entire life. As a child, he always had an art project in the works, whether it was pen and ink, acrylics, pastels, or woodworking. He gives much of the credit for his passion for the arts to his grandfather. When Kassan was eight, he and his grandfather worked together to build a working toy sailboat. Kassan never lost his passion for woodworking.
After college, Kassan worked at the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida as a dietician. During that time, he discovered the local theater scene and started volunteering backstage. He helped build sets and running props and learned a lot about design. In 1989, he decided to start his own custom furniture business. “This is where I was bitten by the turning bug,” Kassan says.
Kassan decided he wanted to make wall sculptures, but it took several years to figure out how he could make his wall sculptures different from everyone else. “Then one day, on a trip to Salt Lake City, I was looking out of the window of the plane and was captivated by the plots of land and crop circles,” Kassan says. “Inspiration had just hit me on the head with a two by four and…the rest is history.”
He uses various types of wood, and has several different designs that play off the idea of crop circles. “To mimic the plots of land, I have arranged my wall sculptures as polyptychs. The individual pieces are raised above the applied metal background adding more depth and character to the finished sculpture,” Kassan explains. He uses a wood lathe to create his sculptures, and calls his woodturnings “horizontal pottery with an attitude.”
In addition to sculptures, Kassan makes furniture. He loves to play with angles, shapes, and forms, and each piece he makes is unique—from the funky buckeye burl coffee table to the twisted bed. He also will work with customers to create their ideal piece of furniture, as well.
If you are looking for the perfect Christmas gift, Kassan also makes vases, tea light holders, and bottle stoppers.