Artist Easel - Art Nouveau & Charles Rohlfs Inspired

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Project by Woodbridge posted 302 days ago 2317 views 12 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Chair making has been postponed for a few weeks. My son and his long-time girlfriend are artists building their portfolios of work. When my son was in university, l built him a basic easel from plans I found somewhere in the internet. He mentioned that his girlfriend was not happy with the easel she had and since her birthday was coming up asked if I would build one for her: “a bit fancier than the one I built for him”. So here it is.

I wanted it to have a bit of an art nouveau feel. The curves are inspired by various shapes and curves from some of Charles Rohlfs furniture. The bottom is inspired from a Rohlfs andiron design. Also, since I plan to build Rohlfs swivel desk as part of my Rohlfs collection I included the flame finial motif which tops his swivel desk as a way to get some practice carving this shape.

The curved bottom has a couple cross grain weak spots. I drilled and inserted dowels perpendicular to the grain to provide additional strength.

The easel is 6 feet 6 inches high and 24 inches wide at the bottom. I can accommodate a canvas up to 57 inches high. The various parts are joined together with dowels and screws. The two knobs are purchased.

The easel is made from oak with a couple coats of shellac finish.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

20 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


4380 posts in 1348 days

#1 posted 302 days ago

Now you have to build a better one for him? LOL! Function, form and elegance!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View forefront's profile


9 posts in 338 days

#2 posted 302 days ago

Fantastic. Great design. She’s going to love it. It’ll be a tears moment.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12518 posts in 2489 days

#3 posted 302 days ago

this is cool

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View a1Jim's profile


109551 posts in 2083 days

#4 posted 302 days ago

Unique design and super work.

-- Custom furniture

View MichaelA's profile


758 posts in 1394 days

#5 posted 302 days ago

Now that is a elegant easle Peter. wonderful lines and finish!!!!

-- The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. "Helen Keller"

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

576 posts in 2336 days

#6 posted 302 days ago

Very nice work Peter, looks very clean and professional. I’m sure she will love it.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View George Coles's profile

George Coles

93 posts in 951 days

#7 posted 302 days ago

Great piece. She will probably leave your son and want to marry you now. (-:

-- George Coles, Antipolo, Philippines

View deon's profile


2022 posts in 1532 days

#8 posted 302 days ago

Elegant piece, great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View Buckethead's profile


778 posts in 375 days

#9 posted 302 days ago

Agree with all the above. Beautiful easel.

I did wonder about some of the weak points in the grain. It was very clever to use dowels for additional strength. I can see how that could open up many new design possibilities.

-- Hi. My name is bucket head and I'm a recovering framing carpenter.

View aussiedave's profile


2810 posts in 330 days

#10 posted 302 days ago

Beautiful Artists Easel and beautiful work…well done.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View YoungWilly's profile


95 posts in 575 days

#11 posted 302 days ago

Beautiful easel! Great work, and such a nice gesture to boot! She’ll love it, and love you for it :)

-- -- Measure twice, cut once; why, did the wood grow?

View Woodbridge's profile


2431 posts in 924 days

#12 posted 302 days ago

Thanks everyone for the comments.

Buckethead: I can absolutely confirm that the bottom leg would fail at the weak point where you have a very thin cross section due to the curved shape and cross grain. when my shop gets cluttered (most of the time) I have a tendency to drop things (onto the concrete floor). Well I had just finished drilling the holes, freshly glued and inserted the support dowels, then dropped the piece on the floor. !.. Sure enough it broke right where I thought it would. A quick re glue job was required. Once the glue set the dowels do provide the support needed. Four of them are inserted in the bottom leg where the curved shape results in a small area of cross grain. You can see two of them in photo five looking down from the top of the bottom leg.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View revwarguy's profile


125 posts in 407 days

#13 posted 301 days ago

Very Cool! I’ve made some easels as well, but they were only functional. This is quite wonderful.

-- "72.6 per cent of all statistics are made up on the spot." - Steven Wright

View Woodbridge's profile


2431 posts in 924 days

#14 posted 301 days ago

Revwarguy: thanks, your easel looks real nice, I like that you can adjust the slope and keep the painting near vertical if you want.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Woodwrecker's profile


3471 posts in 2081 days

#15 posted 301 days ago

I would say that this is a little more than a “bit” fancier…lol
Nice work Peter.

-- Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Albert Einstein

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