Carved painted bench

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Project by dennis mitchell posted 2059 days ago 2189 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is an old project of mine. It has a bit of history. I was just starting this furniture building thing and brought this to a interior designers shop. I was informed color would never sell and people don’t like carving. It was one of those things that changed my style of furniture. I’ve learned a few things since then. A) Interior designers are a hard sale. B) Any type of unique furniture is a hard sale. C) I’m just not the best salesman.

16 comments so far

View RusticElements's profile


167 posts in 2351 days

#1 posted 2059 days ago

Artists are rarely good salesmen. I speak from experience.

-- Michael R. Harvey - Brewster, NY - - -

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6646 posts in 2605 days

#2 posted 2059 days ago

Hi Dennis;

Don’t feel bad, I still haven’t gotten rid of that bridge! LOL

Personally, I think it’s a fine looking bench! The workmanship is great, as is the finish.

Having dealt with many designers over the years, I find that some are in the same boat. Big on talent, low on business skills, or marketing.

I wouldn’t take the word from one source as a final decision about what will sell. It could be that the designer wouldn’t design it that way, so it can’t be any good.

I believe that every piece has the perfect buyer, or put another way, somebody, somewhere will think that’s the best bench ever made! You just have to introduce them.

To prove my point, I was able to find someone to marry me!!!

Happy New Year.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View savannah505's profile


1695 posts in 2212 days

#3 posted 2059 days ago

Well I like it, and I think the other commenters are right, it would be loved by the right person. Never give up, and you did a very nice job on it.

-- Dan Wiggins

View oldskoolmodder's profile


761 posts in 2306 days

#4 posted 2059 days ago

One of the problems with interior designers is that they go by their own personal tastes, not by reality, most of the time. If you tell them you want Orange on YOUR family room wall, they’ll tell you it needs to be purple, because THEY like purple.

It’s your art, not theirs. I second Jarrod’s idea that it’d sell before you finished your first breath in Santa Fe/Taos/Northern New Mexico area, without a problem, and for a good amount of money.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 2473 days

#5 posted 2059 days ago

For me Dennis this is wonderful….the carving is subtle…I love this…but maybe it could be more dramatic….now the only reason I would make this comment is I feel both our work shares so much in common…can you re-carve the back…perhaps leaving the horizon or mountains faint….and then moving forward with reliefs on each side…with tree limbs..and branches…. and the birds you carved in the panels….the panels you carved way back…...I could see these relief carvings beginning with more detail at the edges and then transitioning to the faded mountain/landscape in the center/distance…I like the washed effect in the finish….what if only the birds only were in a more vibrant color…..I can see the bench as a ink painting. I really like it Dennis…

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


15684 posts in 2844 days

#6 posted 2059 days ago

It looks great to me, Dennis. What would you rather be anyway…. a salesman or a woodworker? :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View lew's profile


9991 posts in 2381 days

#7 posted 2059 days ago

I agree with Jarrod!

I think it must be like real estate- Location, Location, Location. If antique stuff didn’t sell, then there would be a whole lot of people out of business around here!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View TreeBones's profile


1823 posts in 2649 days

#8 posted 2059 days ago

I think this is a great piece. I have found that the kind of work I like to do (we like the same stuff) has a limited market and the area you sell your goods in will either make or break your business. Being able to sell yourself is a talent not everyone has, you really have to put yourself out there.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View Karson's profile


34870 posts in 3026 days

#9 posted 2059 days ago

Dennis a great piece. Keep showing it and it will be carried to a car some day.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2588 days

#10 posted 2059 days ago

I really like this bench, Dennis. I think I’m in the same boat you are. Maybe we need a business manager but he’d probably expect to get paid and expect benefits and etc., etc,......................................

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Napaman's profile


5332 posts in 2703 days

#11 posted 2059 days ago

wow…such a beautiful piece…I am sorry that TRUE art is not appreciated in our lives…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2940 days

#12 posted 2059 days ago

Thanks everyone….ya a business manager. They get 20%. I get plenty of work. The gallery gets 40%, IRS gets 30%, My ex gets 40%, 35% overhead…I need more than a manager. I need your prayers!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2786 days

#13 posted 2059 days ago

sending my positive thoughts your way, Dennis.

I love this bench. It touches my heart. Good thing you don’t live closer – I’d be broke. Ha. I’d be the answer to your prayers. Of course, then I’d need the prayers because I’d be broke. .. but just think of the furniture I’d have .. sigh… :D

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3962 posts in 2690 days

#14 posted 2059 days ago

Dennis, It’s sooo beautiful. The painting and carving are one of a kind and are just fetching. The knot-moon setting over the mountains, the paint wash, the detail on the apron. The Sundance catalogue used to have things like this, now it’s all crap (feel free to utilize a fake Sean Connery/Scottish accent here).

You sincerely have my prayers. I hope someone has the good sense to become your patron. Your work is fresh and original.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 2872 days

#15 posted 2059 days ago

I’m with Douglas old friend, it’s just a matter of hooking up the right person to that beautiful piece. By the way is that a crack or did you paint a bird flying through the moon? What an amazing landscape. You are truly an artist in my book.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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