Arts & Culture
Casey McCafferty

Deliberate Practice by Casey McCafferty

Casey McCafferty is a Los Angeles-based furniture artist. He started a career in banking in New York City but his interest in wood crafting draw a new career path for him as he moved to Los Angeles to turn his hobby into a real profession. Changing his life completely wasn’t an easy road to take but following his passion to do what he loves brought him a happy life and unique designs to people’s homes. His approach includes great respect for nature and this is what makes his designs unique. He doesn’t wait for inspiration to come but how he keeps his mind open even to little things draws his creative process. Because of this, he describes his creative process as spontaneous because the process itself shapes the final product and inspires him. Applying traditional techniques instead of the modern ones definitely doesn’t make his work easier but besides the uniqueness of the final product, it also brings a great value to his designs.

Applying traditional techniques brings a great value to your works, where does your attraction to traditional techniques and craftsmanship come from?

  I think I was drawn to woodworking and fine furniture by the romantic idea of using hand tools and age-old techniques to shape and join wood. There is something magical about cutting dovetails and mortises by hand, planing wood to a glass finish by hand, and getting a piece of furniture to function properly without ever relying on electricity or some sort of power tool/ computer. Although I use a lot of power tools to carve my sculptures now, nothing makes me feel more at home then pulling out a nice sharp chisel and mallet.  


You describe your productive process as spontaneous since the pieces you create don’t get their exact shape until they are almost done, what inspire you during the process to give them their ultimate form?

  It really depends on what i'm doing in life; what I am reading, watching, what's happening in the world. I love the outdoors and I'd like to think a lot of my shapes and forms are things that I see on hikes and in the forests and when my hands get to work my imagination is taking these shapes and transforming them to how I perceive them.


You experiment the boundaries between craftsmanship and techniques, which one of the techniques you apply helped you most so far?

  That's really hard to say because each sculpture takes both craftsmanship and technique. I try to push myself in each new piece in the hope that deliberate practice will force me to express my emotions and make them more transparent to the viewer. When my craftsmanship gets pushed and improves, my techniques advance because I have more confidence. They are complimentary.


How you reflect the natural environments to your products through experimental works is remarkable, do you have a specific product that you feel like you represented yourself in the best way possible?

  I think my new series "conversations on a wall"expresses myself the best. It is a literal conversation I'm having in my head on what I am feeling and what shapes represent those feelings. It might not look like a fluid story to the viewer but to me it is like a written language. 


Each product you create distinguishes itself thanks to your thoughtful approach, how do you want to inspire other people with your approach?

  I want people to realize that they can build whatever they want. I spent a lot of time building custom furniture to specification because I thought my sculptural work wouldn't fit anywhere. It took a little confidence building, but what I realized is that there is a big world full of sophisticated collectors and people who appreciate authentic work. It might be nerve racking at first but you will eventually gain traction if you stick with it. Most importantly have fun and believe in what you're making.  



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Deliberate Practice by Casey McCafferty
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