View Full Version : Wisteria Desk

Mark Yundt
03-25-2010, 11:02 AM
I had finished this piece some time ago and shipped it out. As is typical of many of my pieces they get finished on site. They had their painter/artist do the final finish as to the clients wishes. This is along the lines of my suggestions to them as how to color it and still leave the wood grain showing through so you could see it was carved. They were kind enough to send me these finished photos.
I have many "in the process" carving shots if anyone is interested in the process. It's basically a glue up, 9 inches deep, 5 feet wide and 30 inches tall out of , if I remember correctly, about 20-25 pieces. I designed the top so it would project out an additional 10 inches,, and the carving does wrap a bit around the sides of the desk so it doesn't appear as if it was just slapped on to the front. I also allowed a space behind the carving should they wish to install lighting that would illuminate the desk while back lighting the carving. Might be neat seeing it that way.
Interesting piece, hope you like it.

Mark Yundt
03-25-2010, 11:03 AM
And one more shot.

Joe Cunningham
03-25-2010, 11:32 AM
That is serious craftsmanship. Wow, I can't imagine even designing something like that, never mind designing and executing it so well. Great job!

Belinda Williamson
03-25-2010, 1:01 PM
That is one beautiful piece!

Philip Allin
03-25-2010, 6:40 PM
As I said in a personal email, this desk carving is super! I'm glad you entered it in the Woodcraft/Pfeil contest. It should be a serious contender. Let me know if you need a companion for the trip to Switzerland. . .

Mark Yundt
03-25-2010, 6:54 PM
Thank you everyone for the kind words. Phil, I didn't have these photo's for the contest. I don't know if that would have helped or not, but hope springs eternal. Thanks for the vote of confidence, it's much appreciated.
I wouldn't have a problem taking you along with me,, but I think my wife might have something to say about that. Yeah,, like that's gonna happen!

Philip Allin
03-25-2010, 7:19 PM
Yes, I knew you had submitted "in progress" photos of the desk, but it still looked impressive.
I was kidding, of course, about the trip to Switzerland. Your wife has first priority. Besides, I've been to Brienz, chatted with a young female master carver at Hugglers shop. I also have the Pfeil Brienz Collection of tools (in the beechwood box with an engraved brass plate). I was feeling wealthy and bought it "on sale" from Woodcraft - perhaps a mistake because I use mostly gouges I already had. Someday, when I start carving wooden copies of Michalangelo's "David," I might need the larger profiles.

Roger Strautman
03-25-2010, 9:56 PM
Mark, it has to make you feel better knowing that the painting artist did such a great job on the finish. The finish can make or break a great carving like this one. Congratulations!

Mark Yundt
03-26-2010, 1:45 AM
Yes it does. I had seen some of the work already done and felt pretty comfortable with what I saw. And as I said I had discussed the process and what it should look like and how to apply the finish. Fortunately it worked pretty well even though it was out of my hands.
I'm sure some would argue about "painting" some work,, others want it natural. But if it were to be left natural I wouldn't have used Basswood. A painted finish of some sort was part of the original plan. Otherwise I would have used a nicer wood.
Whatever,,, there it is.
Not the results that were had with a Mantle I did for a celebrity. It turned out simply AWFUL. I wouldn't even photograph it. Turned a wonderful carving into a complete mess. Really, how many times do you see the finish dripping off a carving to the point that it freezes in mid air like an ice-sickle? Yes,, it was that bad. And the pattern grade Mahogany was first "stained" with what looked like a reddish brown barn paint. Such a mess.

Roger Strautman
03-26-2010, 5:51 AM
You have got to be kidding me, someone really left finish drips on a quality carving!:eek: That's when you wish you could put someone elses name on the carving isn't it.

Mark Yundt
03-26-2010, 9:52 AM
Yeah, wish I could have. Some things you just have to walk away from. Didn't look too bad if you stood 50 ft away and squinted your eyes ALOT. But once I'm paid it's all theirs even if they decide to burn it.
In the same house they had custom made Mahogany doors. The same finisher, in his infinite wisdom, used BONDO to do some patching. Well, now the doors had little pink spots, stripes etc. wherever he needed to do some filling. The bondo doesn't take stain and showed up as pink blotches against the dark Mahogany stain. So I wasn't the only victim in this disaster.

Roger Strautman
03-26-2010, 4:02 PM
And I thought the drips were really bad!! They don't hold a candle to BONDO!!!!!!!!!!!:eek::eek: I'm still laughing at the BONDO thing! LOL!!!!!!!!

Dave McGeehan
03-26-2010, 4:03 PM
Great job, Mark, in both the design and execution. Nothing static, lots of movement in the vines, leaves, grapes. Beautiful!

Mark Yundt
03-26-2010, 4:24 PM
Glad I made you laugh Roger,, it's been long enough that I can too. Stick around long enough and you'll see it all at some time or another.

Thanks Dave. One small clarification. There aren't any grapes. The clusters are the Wisteria flowers.

Mike Hicks
03-27-2010, 10:00 PM
I followed your carving this on another forum, Mark. As has been said, this turned out great and I am sure the customer is very pleased with your work. Very nice job, sir.

Mark Yundt
03-28-2010, 12:23 AM
Thanks Mike, Glad to see you here. Yeah, I started on another site,,,,, not going to finish up there though. Just here from now on.

Dave McGeehan
03-28-2010, 9:31 AM
Sorry, Mark, my mind said "wisteria" and my fingers typed "grapes." I just turned 56. How long before my mind says one thing and my hands carve another? Yikes!! :eek:

Doug Shepard
03-31-2010, 9:20 AM
I dont know if I should keep practicing or just send all my new carving gouges back. That is stunningly great work. Hope I can manage to try something 1/4th that ambitious one of these days.

Mark Yundt
03-31-2010, 9:57 AM
Hello Doug! Keep the tools as well as keep practicing. Before you know it ANYTHING will become possible. Just like you or anyone else, I didn't start by carving this stuff. It grew out of carving the first little 2 inch high piece. One never knows.

Same old story we hear all the time but tend to forget,,, The longest journey starts with the first step. How true that is.

And thank you for the compliment. But remember as well, there isn't an end to this journey,, some guys out there are making some killer stuff. Its amazing to see. It's all part of our respective take on the work and carving and where we want to go.

Trevor Howard
04-08-2010, 9:33 AM
I would certainly like to see progress pictures, so I can understand the process that goes into something as amazing as this.