This site features the photographs of Daniel Kasser and ongoing creations from his Lutherie shop where he is currently designing, building and restoring acoustical stringed instruments.
Daniel Kasser’s career as a photographer spans four decades, and like most artists, is strengthened by an amalgam of interests and endeavors across the fields of art and arts education, the fine and industrial arts. His multi-faceted work in photography includes portfolios of interpretive landscapes and still life in addition to collaborative urban surveys and publications dedicated to his home city and regional landscapes of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Stylistically, his photography has evolved from the compelling call of classic West-coast modernism (Adams, Weston, Bullock) toward an interpretive, “mythopoeic” response to the cultural and technological transformation the American West.
Daniel received his Master of Fine Arts in photography from the University of New Mexico and completed undergraduate studies at Humboldt State University and Shasta College in Northern California. He joined the faculty at the University of the Pacific in 1984 teaching photography, printmaking and topical seminars. He retired from the University in 2019. His photographs are included in numerous private and public collections.
More recently, after a thirty five year commitment to teaching, Daniel has resumed his work in lutherie, realizing that he had left something important in his creative life on the table. He is currently researching, designing and building wooden acoustical instruments in his workshop. Visit the Lutherie page to see examples of Dan's work.
Daniel Kasser’s formative work in photography began in the mid-1970’s as an undergraduate art student in Redding, California. His early studies focused on mastering foundational art and design skills and the principles and techniques of photography. He attributes the turning point in his conceptual development and commitment to photography to Thomas Joshua Cooper, while studying at Humboldt State University in the late 1970's.
“As part of my early studies I learned that great artworks are designed and take form through concept and craft. When these two factors are balanced, artworks can be compelling and enduring. Photography is the medium I selected to develop my artistic intentions and voice. Early in my development as a photographer, I pursued my pictures as fully previsualized photographs; this is no longer the case. My pictures now evolve out of the process, what I make from what I see and discover on site. As a Photographer, I collect images of places and objects and assemble them into pictures of ideas, crafting them from the multiple possibilities inherit in contemporary photographic techniques, materials and processes.”
In the Western Technosites and Artifacts of Technology portfolios Daniel amplifies industrial artifacts within views of the landscape from which they were excavated—compelling us to consider the impact that these agents of change have had upon the culture and ecology of the western landscape.
Daniel began his involvement with lutherie in the mid-1970s building dulcimers for friends who were also interested in folk music. These instruments were largely built (sawing, steaming, carving, gluing and finishing) with hand tools on the kitchen table of a small mobile home in Millville, east of Redding, California.
In the fall of 2010 Daniel met and completed a spectacular workshop with Roger Siminoff in Atascadero, CA. From that experience, he decided to revisit that creative chapter in his earlier life as an artist.
"I have always appreciated luthiers and the high level of skill required to produce a musical instrument that sounds and looks good, plays well and is durable. That said, I'm a minimalist, I really appreciate the simplicity of design in the early Martin and Gibson guitars and mandolins. For the foreseeable future, this is my goal for design and building. I really respect accomplished luthiers; most of them are genuine polymaths, masters of many skills, renaissance men and women. Lutherie challenges form and functional design at its best!
My current shop has developed considerably since those early days (but I still have that old kitchen table). I can also say that my skills and appreciation for the art and spirit of lutherie has expanded significantly since those early days when it was all so new and unknown territory."
Greeting Friends, Patrons and New Visitors
Well today, I have some good new to share. One of my Western Technosite photographs has been posted by the Duncan Miller Gallery in Venice, CA. Here is the link to the page that features one of my photographs. http://eepurl.com/hJUSpH This daily broadcast features a rotating selection of International photographers and I am really honored to be part of this. I submitted my work about a week ago and was curated a spot today. Duncan Miller Website’s posts daily through its https://www.yourdailyphotograph.com You really need to check this out. Besides being an important contemporary gallery, it is another great example of how resilient the arts community has been throughout the pandemic.
Meanwhile I have a couple of things going to clear the decks for this winters projects. I’m liquidating a lot of my library and photography-related collections to make space, and money, to fund my photography and lutherie projects. I continue to research and devote more time to my next photography projects . . . no more bird walks! The completion of Symbolic Terrain, a book of my landscape photographs should be ready to go by Spring 21 and I hope to get on the road in the next week to start the first collection of photographs for the Western Passages, retracing, and revisioning some of the geographic and journalistic trails of Western explorers and immigrants from about 1840's-50's. This may grow or condense as I proceed; time will tell.
Please use the Send Us a Message link below to contact me. Looking forward to hearing from you.
26" x 20"
Archival Ink Photograph
I am always open to sharing my photography and Lutherie work with others. Feel free to call or email a request to visit my studio.
5499 Hildreth Lane, Stockton, California 95212, United States
We divide our time between studio and field work during the week and set aside our weekends for visitors and relaxing. With some lead time, we can accommodate most requests to visit our studios. Please call if you would like to arrange a visit.