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Arts & Crafts Orchid Stand w/ Wine Bottle Storage, Copper Tray, Copper Hardware, and Carved Flowers

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 3002 days ago 10344 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project has been ”SOLD”.

If you would like to see pricing on something similar I could build for you, you can commission the work by clicking here

To see more photos of this project, you can also go to My Website

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Copper Hardware: I have received questions about where I found this Orchid Flower and Orchid Leaf Hardware. I made it!

This copper work is an original design I fashioned out of copper plate and hammered and soldered it together.

If you would like to have me make you a handle, email me. For the right size order, we can also have them cast in pewter, or bronze, email me for more information.

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Orchid Flower Carving Designs:
Warning: The flowers used in the carvings are my original drawings. They are protected by copyright, and are not to be copied without my written permission.

If you would like to draw, or carve my flowers, either ask for permission first, or do what I did, look at a flower and draw it, and then carve it. It’s not that hard to do your own original artwork, and you’ll be more proud of your work if you do that.

Thanks for your help,
Mark

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If you stumbled onto this project posting while surfing the internet for Arts & Crafts furniture to buy, you might also be interesting in seeing these other Arts & Crafts Projects I have posted that were part of this commission:

  1. Sectioned Entertainment Center
  2. Orchid Stand/Wine Storage
  3. Arts & Crafts End Tables
  4. Arts & Crafts Coffee Table
  5. Arts & Crafts Table Lamps
  6. Arts & Crafts Prairie Style Couch
  7. Morris Chairs & Ottomans

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Project Story:
After working many hours to build this original piece, I was wonderfully compensated with tears of joy by the customer the night I delivered this piece to their home. As I looked at her, unsure for a moment, if the tears were a good, or a bad thing, I asked, “are the tears a good thing?” She wiped her eyes and answered me that their house was finally turning into the place they had both dreamed of some 30 years earlier when they were married, and she assured me that the tears were a good thing.

Sure, their money pays the bills, but long after the insurance is paid, the car is repaired, the property taxes are covered, my wife’s tooth cavity is filled, the kids get another pair of shoes, the phone bill, and on an on…......I will remember that incredible night as long as I live. Then being invited to sit and drink a wonderful glass of expensive port wine, to celebrate this cabinet’s delivery into the collection of this most encouraging and supportive client.

The piece is built in Quartersawn White Oak with Walnut as the secondary wood. The top of the cabinet has a 2” deep copper tray that is filled with water and small rocks for setting Orchid plants on top of, to provide them the best in humidity, and drainage for watering.

Mixing water and wood wasn’t my idea of fun, but some head scratching, and promises from the customer to be careful when filling the tray with water, I forged ahead on the design.

I hammered from 1/8” copper plate the orchid bloom door knobs, and the orchid leaf door pulls. I don’t fancy myself as a coppersmith, so after buying a book on coppersmithing, doning a ball peen hammer and a propane bottle torch, I moved forward turning the copper into pieces of unique door knobs.

The raised relief style carved statement on the lower section of the cabinet is a phrase from Ghandi that the customer found. Growing Orchids is a difficult, but rewarding experience for the customer, and this phrase says it all for them.

I formed the copper leaf handles on the two center doors, so that they formed the shape of a “heart” which I felt would fit the customer, the Ghandi phrase, their married love for each other, and their Orchid growing passion.

The two carved doors are “botanical plant” style carvings of two of the customer’s favorite orchid types, and they were carved in 3/4” white oak.

Honestly, not much joy is found whittling flowers in a hard wood like White Oak, but changing the color of the wood by using basswood, just would have changed the whole feeling of the cabinet, so I decided to leave the carved door panels in White Oak also.

The wine bottle storage racking is in walnut, holds 49 bottles, and sits behind glass doors with metal screen that I had plated in Copper for the project.

This is the type of project that I hoped I would be asked to build someday when I decided that I wanted to give up easy money jobs sitting at a desk in a climate controlled office doing engineering work, to struggle and sweat pursing my passion for making things in wood.

When I look back, I don’t really remember the long list of 100+ degree days in August in Kansas that I endured in my shop during the construction of this cabinet, but I fondly remember the tears of joy by the customer. A unique piece, a happy customer, and something I can be proud of.

Thanks,
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 and Crafts, Mission Style Related Projects:
  1. Arts & Crafts Entry Table; with Carved Oak Leaves
  2. Arts & Crafts Orchid Stand w/ Wine Bottle Storage
  3. Arts & Crafts Style Morris Inspired Chairs
  4. Arts & Crafts Display Top Coffee Table
  5. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired End Table Set
  6. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired Prairie Couch
  7. Table Lamps
  8. Arts & Crafts Carved Entertainment Center
  9. Mission Entertainment Center
Church & Worship-Art Related Projects:
  1. Carved Communion Table
  2. Carved Roll Top Sound Equipment Cabinet
  3. Fancy Chuch Altars
  4. Processional Cross
  5. Fancy Speaker's Lectern
  6. Church Hymn Number Board
  7. Communion Chalice (Cup) and Paten
Art-Furniture Related Projects:
  1. Sam Maloof Inspired Walnut Rocker
  2. Original Art Carved Tilt Front Desk, inspired by Birger Sandzen
  3. Natural Edge; Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table
  4. Decoratively Painted Box End Tables
  5. Birch China Cabinet for Cut Glass Collection
Rustic, Western, Cedar Log, and Cowboy Related Projects:
  1. Naughty (Knotty) Refined Rustic White Oak & Black Walnut China Hutch
  2. A Kansa Indian and Buffalo Accent Art-Chair
  3. Refined Rustic Dining Chairs
  4. Refined Rustic Dining Table
  5. Cowboy-Western Style Suitcase/Luggage Support Racks
  6. Fun With Cedar Logs #1; Sitting Stool
  7. Fun With Cedar Logs #2; Coat/Hat/Spur Rack
  8. Fun With Cedar Logs #3; Western Style Hat/Coat Rack
  9. Fun With Cedar Logs #4; Entryway Stool
Outdoor Furniture Related:
  1. Kennebunkport Style Adirondack Chair
  2. Outdoor Garden Wedding Arbor
  3. Outdoor Project: Cedar Wood Double Settee

(This project story, photos, and project design are protected by copyright 2007, by the author M.A. DeCou. Permission is required before using any portion of this content. Weblinks to this page are allowed without permission. Thanks for your consideration and protection of my intellectual property.)

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





18 comments so far

View scottb's profile

scottb

3647 posts in 2924 days


#1 posted 2917 days ago

I love mixed media, (and trying new things), this piece is really one to be proud of. Amazing detail and texture. How great that you were able to add new skills to your repetoire.

-- 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

1973 posts in 3002 days


#2 posted 2917 days ago

Thanks Scottb:
I’m no copper smith, but I was able to achieve what I had envisioned in my limited mind. I would like to do more copper work in association with my furniture, so I attended a meeting of the Wichita (Kansas) Sculptor’s Guild a few weeks back, as the artist demonstrating is a specialist in copper sculpture.

I learned a lot at the demonstration, and the artist offered to spend a day teaching a handful of us that wanted to learn more, and get to practice with her oversight. I’m hoping that I can do this soon. I think the copper may some day add an element of “collectibility” to my woodworking that purchased hardware doesn’t offer.

I also joined the Guild, so I am looking forward to the interaction and fellowship with this group of gifted people.

Here’s the link to the Guild group: http://www.wichitasculptorsguild.org/

Here’s a link to the lady doing the copper demonstration: http://www.wichitasculptorsguild.org/beth_van_natta.htm

Thanks for taking the time to comment,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

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

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2911 days


#3 posted 2720 days ago

Wow! I guess I missed a few of your older pieces. Talk about custom, a copper smithed hand carved Orchid growing wine cabinet.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1973 posts in 3002 days


#4 posted 2716 days ago

Dennis: try to find all of that in a Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn catalog!!

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

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2911 days


#5 posted 2716 days ago

Mark that is true craftsmanship! So where did you buy the kit?

View Don's profile

Don

2599 posts in 2774 days


#6 posted 2716 days ago

This site is just full of hidden treasures.

I thought that I had viewed all of the great projects at LumberJocks, but somehow had missed this. (Thanks, Dennis for bringing it to the surface again.)

Mark, when it comes to your work, I’ve run out of superlatives. This is truly the work of an artist craftsman. I affirm your just cause for pride. Just wonderful!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1973 posts in 3002 days


#7 posted 2715 days ago

Thanks guys: This is still my favorite piece of my works so far. I have been hoping and praying for a chance to get a commission to build on this idea for someone else.

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

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2736 days


#8 posted 2638 days ago

Mark -

I can see why this is one of your favorite pieces! Again, your craftsmanship is spectacular. What a pleasure to revisit this piece. As Dick mentioned above, this site is filled with hidden treasure! I really love the copper hardwarre. I am sure the beauty will increase with age and patina.

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2908 days


#9 posted 2633 days ago

Wow! Another masterpiece! Man, that is awesome! Such talent. How did I miss these?

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1973 posts in 3002 days


#10 posted 2627 days ago

Thanks folks for the kind words!

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

View Karson's profile

Karson

34853 posts in 2997 days


#11 posted 2534 days ago

Mark. A great project that I guess I’d never visited. It looks great. I’d have loved to see it in person.

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

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1973 posts in 3002 days


#12 posted 2534 days ago

Karson: this is one of the projects that is a mile North of my house at the neighbor’s. Maybe next time.

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

View MattD's profile

MattD

149 posts in 2541 days


#13 posted 2534 days ago

Mark – Thank you for pointing out this project in response to my Light Garden project. I gotta tell you, this is really something you’ve made here. This will be a major influence to me as I’m interested in woodworking and orchids! I have both of the plants represented here in my collection. I can’t fully describe the appreciation I have for this work. The phals and cattleya carvings are absolutely extraordinary and remind me of old detailed hand drawn orchid illustrations. And another great example of coppersmithing!

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1973 posts in 3002 days


#14 posted 2534 days ago

Thanks MattD: This piece is still my favorite of all that I have ever built. I have done some things that I am really proud of, but this is still my favorite. There is some of my past work that I think I like as well, or better, but it takes the “whole process” to leave a good memory for me. The final presentation of the work is part of the reason I like this piece, but a lot has to do with the “success” of the whole project and it’s entire commission of pieces.

This was probably my first really “art-furniture” piece, and the first time I could see my work taking a creative edge that it had lacked in the past. I have been trying to leave “engineering” behind, and embrace my desire to be an artist, and on this piece, it was the first time I could see it happening.

On top of that, the customer paid me the whole bid up front, with no progress payments (cool). I finished it just about in my bid hours and materials. The customer’s response was incredible to witness, the type of thing you might see on a tv show. All of those factors made it a great project for me. And on top of that, I like the way it came out.

For instance, I did one project a year ago that I spent an entire 9.5 months working on, and then at the end of it all, I got chewed out for it being so expensive, even after making only $12/hour plus the cost of the materials. I loved the work I had created, but I can’t get over the “situation” and we have struggled financially since, trying to make up for those months and the hole it brought.

The artwork for the doors on this cabinet, I did by drawing out by pencil from about about a half dozen magazines and orchid books the customer let me borrow. I picked through all of the photographs, and picked out components of each flower that I wanted to, and thought I could, capture in the oak carvings. My thought process was to use old Audubon style renderings with the root balls shown. I decided to do the doors in the same white oak as the rest of the project, so that it would all have the same appearance. I played with the idea of using basswood to make the carving easier, but decided against that finally to keep the wood looking the same.

The copper flower handles was a whim I had, and the customer liked it in my original sketches provided in my proposal. I honestly had no idea how I would do them when I bid the work, and figured that they would just tell me, “no thank you, they are too expensive.” As it turned it out, I had underbid them for the work involved, but I really enjoyed the process of learning how to do the copper work.

If you see something else you would like to see more details on, let me know. I took a lot of photos during the process of this project.

I put one new photo above, showing the door panels after the stain, ready to glue in the door frames. You can see in the background one of the books I had layed up in the carving cabinet to give me a reference.

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

View aurora's profile

aurora

204 posts in 1849 days


#15 posted 1847 days ago

Mark, Really REALLY nice piece ! I love your work. I agree that your copperwork will enhance the value of this piece as a collectable.

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