How This Furniture Maker Is Leaving His Mark In NC


Casey Johnson stands behind a wooden sculptural wall painted white.

The robust creative community and naturalistic landscape were what beguiled Maryland native Casey Johnson to the idyll of Black Mountain, North Carolina. And in just four years—following two in Asheville—his downtown-area studio practice has mushroomed to five members strong. Leveraging American domestic hardwoods like walnut, maple and white oak, Johnson’s imaginative furniture combines traditional hand carving with modern methodologies. Fusing formal sculpture with everyday functionality, his output focuses primarily on custom commissions for high-end homes. Luxe spoke with Johnson about his creative impetus, his inspirations and his future visions.

You’re a lifelong artist; what spurred your interest in furniture? I experimented with many different media throughout school. I took a lot of influence from Noguchi—not his furniture, but his lesser-known work in sculpture. Then a Martin Puryear exhibition in Washington, D.C., sparked something in me about the nature of wood and its versatility—with it being an additive form of sculpture (you can build with it) but also subtractive (you can carve into it). 

Today your practice is uber-successful, with four employees assisting you in studio. Why are their contributions so valuable? Due to high demand, I had been carving at such a rapid pace and needed to save my hands a bit. Adding to my team helped me increase production while integrating new technologies. We accomplish so much more and are much more efficient. 

What’s coming up for you? It’s likely I’ll release a signature collection of my own through a gallery or showroom this year. I also like the idea of finally embarking on other materials such as stone. 

Light-toned sculptural wood table and floating console by Casey Johnson
Photos: Courtesy Casey Johnson Studio