Kenton Jeske

Woodworker: Designer & craftsman of original handcrafted furniture

Kenton Jeske is a woodworker; designer & craftsman of original handcrafted furniture. His work can be found in the homes of private patrons, places of worship, restaurants, retail spaces and galleries. A furniture maker for over a decade Kenton has developed a vernacular to his work that speaks to the integrity of materials, craftsmanship and finish.

In the fall of 2006, while traversing the Scottish and English countryside, Kenton Jeske experienced a clarity of vision to return home, marry Amy and learn to build furniture. That vision has remained his defining resolve. Attending the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (2007) Kenton was shown the foundations of furniture making and woodworking. Hardwood furniture construction and the introduction to furniture makers such as Wharton Esherick, George Nakashima and Sam Maloof exposed him to craftsmanship, tradition and a particular path of meaningful work previously alluding him. This expansion – physically, philosophically and spiritually fulfilled a purpose toward work that would create an agreement between his head, heart and hands.

Kenton set his sights on becoming a studio furniture maker of original designs with an aim to distinguish his work in a personal vernacular. Early support opened up opportunities to identify and cultivate his craftsmanship and aesthetic vision. Each year built upon a foundation that began to form through mentorship, accumulation of knowledge and skill development. Cultivating a shop atmosphere of vulnerability for creative and singular expression formed the development of his process and design, as it does to this day.

A gallery exhibition designed by Kenton Jeske titled: Ceremony: Exploring Craft through Furniture, opened at the Alberta Craft Council (Edmonton) in the spring of 2017. This exhibition exposed the Alberta craft and design community to Kenton’s furniture process and philosophy. Crafting this body of work to his particular standards over a concentrated period of time, due to grant funding awarded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, resulted in an expansion of his catalogue, as well as a refinement to his craftsmanship. The response has brought forth a steady growth of Kenton Jeske woodworker furniture that now resides in the homes of private patrons, sacred spaces, restaurants, retail spaces, galleries and most recently for luxury brand Louis Vuitton. Kenton continues to develop what he does as a craftsman and new avenues in the visual arts are expanding his portfolio. Kenton Jeske works to commission at his home studio shop in Edmonton, Alberta, where he lives with Amy and their daughters, designing and making the work that he has generously been given.


As a furniture maker I must submit to the process dictated by the material, time honoring methods have shown the integrity within the tradition, and give my work a foundation to express new beauty… 

Designer craftsman furniture is a term I use to abbreviate a philosophy of workmanship that defines my craft: handmade furniture crafted with intention and purpose, alongside the skill set to support the visual elements and create a well-meaning piece of furniture. I pursue the idea that the objects we use on a quotidian basis should benefit us towards our needs and hold a quiet beauty within our home. Handling and shaping the material each day brings forth furniture with a sensual nature that invites one to touch and feel the things they live with. In this way, my work nurtures an intimacy and purpose towards quality and integrity. Woodworking is a constant search for ways in which time honoring craftsmanship endures alongside the natural beauty of the wood and the intended design elements.

…each piece is new, but it is the repetition in the work that refines the form – a doing over and over again, with a devotion to the form and the function…

My work has been created through relationships. Each piece of furniture I build embodies an intuition and an intention to connect. Connection with the patron, the design, the material and the process of this craft guides the work along. Between the patron and I there is a reciprocity of desire and intent for the piece to hold and live into. Getting to that place of discovery is a very different experience for people to participate in. For me, craft is not so much about making something, it is about receiving something. Workmanship must bear testimony and my desire is for this work to testify to wholeness. I believe that an agreement between your head, your heart and your hands is fundamental to wholeness and to life. Sometimes I can receive that communion in the work.

…craft is not so much about making something, it is about receiving something.

For more information or to contact this artist for a commission, please contact [email protected].



Description: Borderline Series | Bench

The Borderline Series features a unique design aesthetic creating a boundary line between a finely polish hardwood surface and the antiqued milk painted surface. It’s a stepped ridge that borders the pieces’ natural and painted surfaces. This feature requires technical expertise to seamlessly blend joints prior to assembly rather than post assembly.

Painted works are brushed using Milk paint. Milk paint is a powder base paint that is hand mixed to a consistency that facilitates a particular look I am after. Pictured images are hard to capture the characteristics of the final look which has light fissures and depending on the wood species used allows grain patterns to show through while remaining opaque.