|Project by Mark A. DeCou||posted 10-10-2006 at 09:10 AM||12204 views||3 times favorited||15 comments|
This one-of-a-kind Chair is available for purchase, and immediate shipment.
Email me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
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In my spare time this summer I read a fascinating book called “PrairyErth” by a man called “William Least-Heat Moon.” This book is a historical, socialogical, and philosophical book about the area in which I live and work, Chase County, Kansas USA in the Flinthills Prairie.
The book was written in the late 1980’s, so in many cases the things he foretold have come to pass, and yet other predictions have not, yet. There was a great chapter on the Osage Orange tree, laying out it’s history in this area. Another great chapter on the Cottonwood Tree and it’s importance to the area, and people, long before the White Faces took over.
But, the chapter that struck me in the heart was the history of the Kansa Indian in this area. I was so moved by their plight and forced encampment on a reservation not far from my house, and then their later removal to Oklahoma, that I felt like building a chair, and featuring a carving representing a Kansa Brave. His hair blowing in the wind, the pain evident in his face, having been forced to pack and walk in a line with his family toward a new reservation in Oklahoma. This Chase County grass land was deemed too valuable by cattle ranchers to let the tribe stay on it, and so the government moved them.
I chose the name “Against the Wind” as the trip south to Oklahoma is against the normal wind that blows from the south. The name of Kansas as a State comes from the original Indian name called Kansa, of which there are several dozen spellings, all equally correct. The term Kansa means “People of the South Wind.”
I don’t mean to get this story off on the relations between Native Americans and the White race, there are other places on the web for that, I’m just laying out a little of the motivation and heart that went into my planning and carving.
This chair is made from Kansas Burr Oak, has a sculpted surface over the entire chair, and sports a Buffalo Robe draping the leather upholstered seat. The leather seat was done by Allen’s Upholstery in Wichita, KS, a more skilled group you won’t find www.allensupholstery.net.
The Buffalo robe for this chair came from an animal also raised in Chase County, KS. I was given four freshly skinned robes two winter’s ago, and I scraped them, salted them, and then had them tanned for me. I was pretty naive to the cost of tanning when I started this process, and so I quickly worked to sell two of the robes to other people. The remaining two robes, I had tanned for clothing or upholstery, so, I wanted to use some of it in a special way.
The remaining pieces of two robes are for sale, if someone wants some pieces email me at email@example.com and we can talk the pricing and what you need, and how to get it to you.
The wood for this chair came from a fully matured Kansas Burr Oak. I learned a lot taking a tree trunk and converting it into small dried boards suitable to build a chair with.
I have read that chair building is the most demanding woodworking project a person can take on, and it is indeed challenging. I never make anything easy, so I used a 4.5 degree spread of the front to back legs, and made each of the joints a real mortise and tenon. I had to learn how to mortise on an angle, and also how to cut angled tenons on a table saw. So, in the end, it was a very challenging project to learn on, and something I am glad to have completed. The tenons are held in place with walnut pegs.
The coloring of the carving and the “antiquing” of the finish for the whole chair has been done by tinting clear lacquer and air brushing the coloring. This is a technique that I have been having fun with, and using a more and more in my work this year.
If you want to see more information on this air brushing technique, I posted a blog outlining the steps, and also for the methodology I use in Carving An Art Panel:
Airbrushing a Carving: http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/decoustudio/blog/2163
Techniques for Carving Panels: http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/decoustudio/blog/2148
Thanks for looking,
Mark DeCou www.decoustudio.com
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Want to See More of my Furniture Work?:
If you go to my Mark DeCou Website you will find that I have not updated my website in quite some time. I realize that I need to invest in improving my website, but until that is accomplished, here are some more Lumberjocks related lilnks with updated postings of my furniture work, sorted into categories. Thanks for your interest in my work, and your patience with my website.
- Arts & Crafts Entry Table; with Carved Oak Leaves
- Arts & Crafts Orchid Stand w/ Wine Bottle Storage
- Arts & Crafts Style Morris Inspired Chairs
- Arts & Crafts Display Top Coffee Table
- Arts & Crafts Style Inspired End Table Set
- Arts & Crafts Style Inspired Prairie Couch
- Table Lamps
- Arts & Crafts Carved Entertainment Center
- Mission Entertainment Center
- Carved Communion Table
- Carved Roll Top Sound Equipment Cabinet
- Fancy Church Side Altars
- Processional Cross
- Fancy Speaker's Lectern
- Church Hymn Number Board
- Communion Chalice (Cup) and Paten
- Sam Maloof Inspired Walnut Rocker
- Original Art Carved Tilt Front Desk, inspired by Birger Sandzen
- Natural Edge; Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table
- Decoratively Painted Box End Tables
- Birch China Cabinet for Cut Glass Collection
- Naughty (Knotty) Refined Rustic White Oak & Black Walnut China Hutch
- A Kansa Indian and Buffalo Accent Art-Chair
- Refined Rustic Dining Chairs
- Refined Rustic Dining Table
- Cowboy-Western Style Suitcase/Luggage Support Racks
- Fun With Cedar Logs #1; Sitting Stool
- Fun With Cedar Logs #2; Coat/Hat/Spur Rack
- Fun With Cedar Logs #3; Western Style Hat/Coat Rack
- Fun With Cedar Logs #4; Entryway Stool
- Kennebunkport Style Adirondack Chair
- Outdoor Garden Wedding Arbor
- Outdoor Project: Cedar Wood Double Settee
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Still Want to See more of my work?
Start with each of these links, and they will take you to other organized lists of my other niche products:
(Note: this project design, original carved artwork, the photos, and text, are protected by copyright 2006, by the author, M.A. DeCou. No unauthorized use is permitted in whole, or part, without the expressed written consent by the Author.)
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com