Meet the Artist: Peter Debelak

Resin Table 3 4 View
Little characters to bring into your home.

By Kelli Comer

Embracing the fun in life is something many of us may find harder to achieve as we age, but local furniture designer Peter Debelak is dedicated to making every piece of his work showcase just a little hint of whimsy and play.

“While I make functional objects and furniture, they are often more sculptural in form and outside the frame of familiar furniture norms,” says Peter. “I like to think that in the process of making them, and in their final form, they take on identities themselves—little characters to bring into your home.”

Much of Peter’s work is very process-driven. He begins with a hazy idea or sketch, rather than a fully fleshed out blueprint.

“I design a bit, then begin crafting,” Peter notes. “I allow the process itself and the emergent work to inform the next steps and new vision. Some works begin as one thing and end up something completely different. A chair becomes a cabinet. A table morphs into a chair. Often, I start something, and then feel at a loss for where to take it, so it gets set aside until inspiration from other projects brings me back to it to see it in a new light.”

A “recovering attorney” who has always loved working with his hands and engaging in problem solving, Peter has been an avid artist for most of his life. He finds the design process very intriguing—understanding constraints and resources and utilizing his expertise to play with the medium. In 2012, Peter and his business partner Jim McNaughton founded Soulcraft Woodshop, a community access shop in which they give access to tools for people to make their own creations or to take classes with them.

“I have long been enamored by the medium of wood itself—trees, swirling grain patterns, the effects of nature upon this organic material,” Peter explains. “Very often, the wood itself suggests a design or a direction in design. I also adore exploring centuries (even millennia) of design and sculpture to pick out morsels of inspiration, often combining seemingly disparate things, from which to form a new whole.”

Peter Debelak

When Peter collaborates with clients, he picks up inspiration from their lives and their homes. “It is a particular joy to work side-by-side with them to design something together that brings joy and cohesion to their home,” he smiles.

Peter Debelak Studio and Soulcraft CLE are located at 5401 Hamilton Avenue in Cleveland. To reach Peter, you can email him at or call 216-644-0955. To learn more about the artist and his work, visit and

Categories: Arts & Entertainment