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Mark A. DeCou

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1979 posts in 3042 days

Location: working near the historic town of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas USA
Website: www.decoustudio.com

You can contact me by email: mark@decoustudio.com

I have a few things for sale on Etsy.com at this link:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/decoustudio

Profile:
I'm located on an old farmstead in the midst of the Tallgrass Prairie of the Kansas Flint Hills, I'm a Self-Employed, professsional Crafts Artisan. I work out behind our house in a small shop that I fixed up enough to shed rain and hold in the heat in the winter. It's not a "dream shop" but I make a lot of things in my cramped little place, and I enjoy the view out of each window. Life is good.

I was taught woodworking and design by my Father, a master furniture and clock builder, and former school woodshop teacher. One grandfather was a farmer and rancher, and taught me to fix equipment, enjoy working for myself, to love the outdoors, and to care for people. The other grandfather was a College Economics Dean at Kansas State University, and he taught me to stay out of debt and to love art. I also received some great training in High School Wood Shop with Mr. Ernie Hiekes who made each day make sense, and encouraged us to dream and explore the craft. One class with Marc Adams in 2000, was a great boost to me, and helped me see wood from a perspective that didn't involve squares and rectangles. Other than that, I'm mostly self taught, and try to learn a new craft or material every year to continue to grow creatively.

After obtaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University in 1987, I went onto work in the oil industry at Exxon and then Koch Industries. I left the corporate life to pursue my passion for working in wood in 1997. It's been a long and sacrificial journey, more so than I had imagined it would be. But I'm applying my hands to work that I dearly enjoy, and I feel gifted and blessed by the Master Creator, so I hope to continue for many more years.

I have been greatly encouraged by Sam Maloof's Autobiography, and his lecture in 2006 at the Western Design Conference, where he told us budding furniture makers to, "...Never give up, never give up, never give up, never, never, never, never, never give up....."

My Portfolio Includes:
- American Contemporary Crafts
- Commissioned Art Furniture
- Walking Canes and Walking Sticks
- Artisan Hat Making Tools
- Silversmithing & Jewelry
- Coppersmithing & Hardware
- Gun Stock Carving
- Gun Stock Repairs & Refinishing
- Fine Antique Restoration
- Scrimshaw Artwork
- Powder Horns & Historical Re-enactor Articles
- Custom Hunting Knives
- Custom Steak Knife Sets
- Historical Crafts & Paleo-Art pieces
- And an occasional sculpture piece, lathe turned piece, or something else unique and interesting that strikes my fancy at the time.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

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28 comments so far

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 3109 days


#1 posted 2865 days ago

I’m glad you enjoyed your Summer contest prize, Mark. Don’t know if know but Glen Huey has been recently named Senior Editor at Popular Woodworking…

-- Martin, http://lumberjocks.com | My Facebook: http://profile.to/msojka

View Jim Earl's profile

Jim Earl

445 posts in 2853 days


#2 posted 2841 days ago

Mark thank you for your comment on my entertainment center. I made a jig to bend my trim. I drew it up but for some reason I cant upload the picture. As soon as I can figure a way to up load I will. Again Thank You. Jim Earl

-- Jim Earl http://www.myspace.com/earle5

View Jim Earl's profile

Jim Earl

445 posts in 2853 days


#3 posted 2815 days ago

In the past I remember some one telling us about a place where we can sell our products for free. Can anyone help me find where I can sell. I would like to get something started to where I can sell some of my works. Thank You Jim Earl

—Jim Earl

-- Jim Earl http://www.myspace.com/earle5

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 2964 days


#4 posted 2815 days ago

Jim – You can check out Etsy.com or there’s always eBay.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1979 posts in 3042 days


#5 posted 2814 days ago

Hey Jim: I have a lot to say about selling work, and how the internet can help, or mislead. I will put my thoughts together after the Christmas rush next week when I have the time to give the effort it needs.

Thanks for asking,
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View BassBully's profile

BassBully

259 posts in 2734 days


#6 posted 2721 days ago

Mark,

I admire your courage to become self employed. The first time I arrived at this site I was basically introduced to the Lumber Jocks through your interview for winning the winter contest. Reading about your commitment to Christ and your family was inspiring.

At work, I often daydream about woodworking as a profession. I feel drained at the end of the day dealing with the toils of the corporate world. Maybe after I get my wife’s and my college loans paid off I’ll feel more confident about that endeavor but we’ll see. I’m sure that self-employment isn’t always glamorous but being home with my family, doing what I love, and allowing my wife to continue to stay home with the kids would be glamorous enough.

Thank you for sharing your faith, thoughts, and projects.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View JTRid43's profile

JTRid43

29 posts in 2709 days


#7 posted 2695 days ago

Mark,

You are an inspiration to those of us who long to use the gifts and talents God has given us to use our creative minds and hands to recreate the beauty of His creation as He reveals it to us. My talents in working wood was lost for many years for reasons that need not be shared here. But now, as I have returned to the passion of my youth, God is restoring those talents and I am learning so much. I have a lot to learn when it comes to building furniture but I also have lots of time to spend in the shop. Thank you again for being here and sharing your talents and gifts in the wood shop. I hope to learn much more from you and others here at Lumberjocks

Jeff

-- In His Grip,

View Harold's profile

Harold

310 posts in 2484 days


#8 posted 2478 days ago

Mark I have went thru all your projects as well as your web site, I really admire your work, I wish I were more eloquent, but a simple thank you seems fitting.
harold

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

3474 posts in 2164 days


#9 posted 2164 days ago

Hi Mark, just wanted to say hi. Looked scrimshaw up on the internet and you were in there some where. Glad you were. Joined lumberjocks because of it. I also work with antler and do scrimshaw. Just made some canes when I saw your site. Super work you do! If you get a chance check mine out. Just kind’a gettin’ goin’ on working in my shop so almost anything is possible. I also rehandle old knives, only done a few but it’s fun. Just am amazed at your work. Later>

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Handymom's profile

Handymom

36 posts in 1955 days


#10 posted 1950 days ago

You were definitely blessed with a talent! Beautiful work! I’m new to LJs and have found a few other Kansans. You live in beautiful country. I drove back and forth from Wichita to Manhattan (K-State) and always admired the huge stone home w/ out buildings that is now part of the Kanza Wildlife area. I kept saying I was going to stop by and just knock and ask for a tour. Then several years after that I was driving by with a friend and there was a sign for tours! We pulled in and I finally got my tour! I look forward to checking out more of your work!

-- Karen W., KS.

View gjd's profile

gjd

18326 posts in 2289 days


#11 posted 1949 days ago

Congratulations! In the next few days you will have been a Lumber Jock for 3 years!

-- gjd Southcentral Wisconsin

View Handymom's profile

Handymom

36 posts in 1955 days


#12 posted 1949 days ago

Mark – that would be awesome if you have the time and patience for a semi-beginner. A few things I’d like to try are a shadow box of sorts to display my father’s hammer and drill somehow. And I’d like to make some sort of headboard (craftsman style). I would definitely expect to pay you for your instruction just like I would if I were taking a class. Let me know what you think.

-- Karen W., KS.

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 1933 days


#13 posted 1877 days ago

try this jock he built some befor
Website: www.decoustudio.com

-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you too-oc@hotmail.com mail.com

View Art's profile

Art

67 posts in 1840 days


#14 posted 1822 days ago

Hey Mark, that’s a beautiful display table. Do you have any plans for it? I have a client here in South Africa who I recently made a knife display case for (see my projects) that would probably be interested. All the best, Art

-- Arthur T., Pringle Braai Furniture, South Africa, atrfrmusa@yahoo.co.uk. A lion leaves its skin when it dies....

View FenceWorkshop's profile

FenceWorkshop

269 posts in 1761 days


#15 posted 1751 days ago

Wow. Your work is out of this world. So detailed. I think is very, very impressive.

-- Brent - http://www.fenceworkshop.com http://fenceworkshop.com/atlanta-ga/ http://fenceworkshop.com/raleigh-nc/ http://fenceworkshop.com/wood-privacy-fencing/

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