"A Birdhouse, Baroque"

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Project by mpounders posted 07-31-2011 07:08 PM 2231 views 5 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I struggled for weeks on a design for this contest and didn’t really have any ideas, until July 4th. I finally got this finished at midnight! I wanted to do something that would surprise people when they looked at it, which would startle them in some way, which would be something they would not expect from a birdhouse. I have seen a lot of beautiful furniture posted on this site ….maybe I could do a birdhouse that had details like a fine piece of furniture? Maybe like something that royalty may have commissioned? Or like a gypsy wagon?
I wanted something that contrasted simple materials and construction, with the elaborate details of the carvings. I wanted something to remind you that it is only a birdhouse. This is a simple design for a birdhouse, something you wouldn’t find too difficult to build with your kids. Just four walls, a roof, and a bottom, all cut out from pine scraps.
Since that part seemed so easy, I decided to do a little carving to fancy it up a bit. The carvings are all low relief and are based on flower and leaf designs. For the back, I modified a dragon design with leaves and flowers and changed the dragon to have more of a bird-like face (he should scare away any intruders). The roof is carved with an oak leaf design I created. I wanted it to appear like leaves over-lapping to form the roof. I used a scroll saw to cut out the edges and then undercut them to thin them out and make the leaves to appear more curled and natural. I also turned and carved the perch and the mounting pedestal. I detailed and highlighted the carvings with wood burning to bring out the details; no paints were used in creating the sepia-toned effects!
This is a functional bird house, sized for Carolina wrens similar to the one (an earlier carving) in the pictures, and would be ok for outside use, although it may end up just being displayed. The bottom removes for cleaning and the cherry base will function as a baffle or squirrel-guard when the house is mounted on a pole.

From a distance, the house wouldn’t appear to be anything special. It really just looks like a birdhouse. But I hope that it will surprise and intrigue you as you look closer….that the viewer will appreciate the elaborate details on such a simple object.
I always welcome any comments and hope that you think this entry may be worthy of consideration for this contest.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

21 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


12638 posts in 3186 days

#1 posted 07-31-2011 07:11 PM

Wow… This is over the top. What a wonderful carving. I love the bird as well.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Eli Adamit's profile

Eli Adamit

577 posts in 2379 days

#2 posted 07-31-2011 09:02 PM

woooow, You succeed to achive all your goals in this project. It is so nice, so unique. Instead of you, I would keep it at my living room and not outside, exposed to the ravages of nature. The birds will not appreciate the aspect of art in this project.

-- Eli Adamit, Israel

View JJireh's profile


39 posts in 2088 days

#3 posted 07-31-2011 09:20 PM

2 Thumbs up! Very nicely executed.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2616 days

#4 posted 07-31-2011 09:32 PM


Best looking roof I’ve ever seen. Beautiful motif, excellent job. Love the wren too.

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

View Roger's profile (online now)


17850 posts in 1893 days

#5 posted 07-31-2011 10:38 PM

just nuttin but awesome!!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2166 days

#6 posted 07-31-2011 11:08 PM

Mike, looks to me you nailed the goals you where shooting for. IMO…. I could see this commissioned for royalty. Proud for ya…. Very well done!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2397 days

#7 posted 08-01-2011 05:56 AM

Super nice !!! Definitely a birdhouse that should be on display inside your house and invitation only for the birds.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2005 posts in 3494 days

#8 posted 08-01-2011 02:46 PM

a masterpiece Mike!

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Porchfish's profile


661 posts in 1621 days

#9 posted 08-01-2011 05:09 PM

Do we have the winner here ! I haven’t seen the likes of such a creation ! Fantastic ! Fantastic !

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View mpounders's profile


784 posts in 1984 days

#10 posted 08-01-2011 05:38 PM

Thanks all for your kind comments! I was not sure if I would get this completed for the contest… I kept adding things to be carved! Here are some more closeup pictures… can see all the in-progress pictures here.#

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View Bearpie's profile


2600 posts in 2107 days

#11 posted 08-01-2011 07:48 PM

This is overkill for the birds who won’t appreciate the time you put into it but will appreciate the shelter! You did a superb job on this! If I had 10 thumbs you would get them all!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3077 days

#12 posted 08-01-2011 10:09 PM

Excellent job!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View mmh's profile


3649 posts in 2811 days

#13 posted 08-02-2011 05:23 PM

Beautifully designed and executed! I love the leafed roof and the additional floral details.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View rance's profile


4197 posts in 2249 days

#14 posted 08-02-2011 07:14 PM

Looks like you baroque the mold with this one. Great job.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View mpounders's profile


784 posts in 1984 days

#15 posted 08-02-2011 07:32 PM

I was going for baroque with this one!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

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