Entries in forest (2)


A Mantle with Deer in the Forest in Utah

Recently I wrote several blogs about a family lodge in the remote mountains near Park City, Utah. One was about a hand-carved guest house entryway designed with a fox, and the other was the main house entryway designed with Sand Hill cranes. This blog is about the mantle I designed and built for the same home. 

It's made of solid walnut, with three deer (two doe and a fawn) standing on a hill at the edge of the forest looking out below them. The deer are mule deer, native to the surrounding mountains. In the design I created a strong contrast between the flat surface and the heavy relief on the right side. The contrast gives a dynamic that I like, and the surface that is free of carving gives a place to imagine the vast forest below and to wonder what it is that the deer are listening to. 

I shipped the mantle to Utah, and since I wasn't there to install it myself I only have photos of it taken from inside my shop.


Deer in the Forest in the Hollywood Hills

About 10 years ago, I designed and carved a front door for some clients. It was a beautiful pine tree with hillsides in the background. Over the years they have collected Chinese art and many furniture pieces and asked if I could build a Chinese-style staircase. They loved their pine-tree-designed front door and wanted to bring that feeling into their home. 

One of the things I love about Chinese art, and Asian art in general, is their use of nature in furniture and architectural design. It captures just enough of the feeling of nature with very precise but simple details. Their home is up some very narrow streets in the Hollywood Hills just below the iconic Hollywood sign. I hoped to bring the peacefulness of nature into my carving on their staircase, to contrast their home in the hills with the very busy and very crowded city of Los Angeles surrounding their home.

I decided a pine forest with deer would accomplish just that. The stairs are made of mahogany because of it's fine grain and good carving quality. The carving is a delicate filigree style, and the trees and deer are carved on both sides of the staircase, so that where ever you are walking, up or down or on the first or second floor, you have full view of the tranquil forest.