“Jabba’s Palace” – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood Intarsia

My latest wood intarsia piece: a scene of Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine from “Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi”. I built this from a variety of domestic and exotic woods including mahogany, bubinga, bloodwood, purpleheart, walnut, lacewood, sycamore, and maple. All natural wood colors (NO stains or paints). The frame is bocote with mahogany splines. The work is finished with Tung oil and the frame with polyurethane. This work took several weeks (and many countless hours) to create, and I documented the entire process on my Instagram account. Videos can be seen in my “story highlights” on my profile. I made this for myself. However, I am willing to very reluctantly part with it for $500 if someone just had to have it + shipping. You can buy it HERE.

 

 

  The Making of Jabba’s Palace

from instagram:

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After ~7 hours of scrollsawing. My back feels just great! Ha. New Star Wars intarsia project “Jabba’s Palace”. This is how it looks in the warmer living room lights. Actual color is probably between this post and the last. Next up, getting the depth and shapes down with hours of sanding. Lacewood, bloodwood, mahogany, bubinga, purpleheart, walnut, maple, and elm (maybe. It was a half rotten branch I found and milled). See my stories to see me rocking out to @galacticempireofficial (and others) while making it. . . . #starwars #starwarsart #starwarsfanart #woodstarwars #woodart #workinprogress #woodworker #woodworking #intarsia #tatooine #jabbaspalace #binarystar #maytheforcebewithyou #scrollsawart #scrollsaw #madeinpittsburgh #pittsburghmaker #pittsburghwoodworking

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Last shots before the finish (hopefully my Tung Oil will arrive tomorrow. Thanks for all your advice!). I got to break out my 45 degree table saw jig today and rebuild my crappy straight edge jig. I had a really nice piece of bocote wood I bought a while back for 15$ from @woodcraftofpittsburgh. It was slightly warped, so I jointed it with the straight edge jig, ripped it in half lengthwise, and mitered the 45s to make this frame. It’s not actually glued up yet. I was originally gonna router the edges, but I love that grain so much I’m just gonna leave it rectilinear – no distractions. I would have paid probably twice that at least for a decent frame otherwise. Not that anyone sells frames with these weird dimensions anyway. The piece will intentionally poke out of the frame at its thickest depth. Random: the plywood for my 45 jig was set pieces being thrown away by the Pittsburgh Playbouse. The rest was 50 cent scrap from Construction Junction @cjreuse.

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“FN-2187” – Daniel D. Brown, 2018, Wood Intarsia, Maple, Walnut, & Padauk

This was a fun wood intarsia project I did inspired by “FN-2187” (Finn) from Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. It is constructed with maple, walnut, and padaduk wood – cut with a scrollsaw, shaped with a Dremel, and hand-sanded. No stains or paints were used – these are all the natural colors of the wood. Finished with gloss polyurethane. I made this primarily for me, but I am willing to sell it. Buy it here.

“FN-2187”
“FN-2187” Detail

Tree Table Lamp – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood

I’ve been needing a bedside table lamp in our new house for a while now. So I spent over a month designing and building this thing with a whole host of tools and techniques. Needless to say, it was a hell of a learning experience! I detailed pretty much the whole process through instagram (which I do often with my artwork – follow me if you wanna keep up):

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My bedside table lamp is complete! It only took me a month. lol. I finished it up with rice paper and polystyrene for the lampshade today. I designed it myself from scratch and constructed it from mahogany and walnut wood scraps and cutoffs (bought for almost nothing on Craigslist). It was made mainly using a @portercable scrollsaw, @dewalttough table saw, @makitatools sander and angle grinder with carving wheel from @kutzall, and a @boschtoolsna router. It’s lit with a #phillipshue white ambience smart bulb. Also, I can control it just by telling Siri on my iPhone what to do, which is more handy than I expected (and works really well). Thanks to my amazing wife @tam_a_ryn for letting me disappear into the workshop far too many nights and weekends for such a simple thing!

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This pile of mahogany is gonna be a lamp base. I hope.

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Scrolling #scrollsaw

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I often find that the hardest part of a project is just getting my ass off the couch and starting. Especially once it becomes cold and gray here in Pittsburgh. But I succeeded in at least that much today after work. This is the very early beginnings of a bedside table lamp (which I desperately need). Step 1 (not including the initial design in my head and computer) was actually acquiring the wood, which I did a few weeks ago when I majorly scored a carload of mahogany offcuts for $15 from a cool dude who does much more serious furniture work. Step 2 is what you see here. I resawed (very slowly and carefully) the wood into 1/4” strips to glue up as panels. Obviously it won’t make sense yet. You’ll see…

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Trivet – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood

I had a really old dry branch of what I believe might be Osage Orange (or perhaps locust or something completely different). I decided to make a little trivet/serving board out of it so I can eat from hot dishes in my recliner. Most of its creation is detailed in the multi-image instagram post below. It turned out very functional and fairly beautiful – especially with the live edge.

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I had to wait for some glue to dry today on the lamp project. And the wife is out for ladies’ night. So I decided to make a hot plate/serving tray/cheesboard/whatever out of an old log I picked up out of a neighbors yard almost a year ago. The log looked old and gray when I found it and I’ve been wanting to see what it looks like inside for ages. Now that I built a straight edge jig, I had a way to give it flat sides so I could run it through the table saw. I just made a bunch of 0.5” thick strips and glued them together. That grain is poppin! I still don’t know what kind of wood it is. Thought? Maybe Osage orange. Or locust. Or something completely different. There’s no stain – the wood just has a beautiful yellow/orange hue after finishing with walnut oil.

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Ruby – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood Intarsia

SOLD!

  

 

Sphen – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Intarsia

This is my second attempt at wood intarsia. I designed this based on a new resident of the National Aviary – an African penguin named “Sphen.” It was constructed from Walnut, Aspen, Cherry, Red Oak, Yellow Pine, and Maple log.

Art All Night 2017!

Once again, my wife and I participated in Art All Night Lawrenceville. 

It’s a free art exhibit in a huge warehouse and free for all Pittsburghers. Also, anyone in the city can submit one artwork to be shown.

My mixed media sculpture/painting “Tridimensional Portrait of a Lizard in the Midst of an Existential Crisis” was on display, along with a painting my wife made. It was a blast as always!

“Owl Earring Hanger #2”, Daniel D. Brown, 2017

I decided to make a simpler Owl earring hanger – One that takes less time to assemble and is much less unwieldy to ship. i.e. one that’s actually worth it for me to make and sell to people. This first one was an experiment with home-made stains using vinegar and steel wool.

Note the hanging basket in which studs and earring backs can be placed.

This earring hanger is available for purchase on the Laughing Mantis online shop.

  

Tridimensional Portrait of a Lizard in the Midst of an Existential Crisis, Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Oil and Glass on Canvas and Apoxie Sculpt

So this was an incredibly fun project to work on, which I apparently did over the course of about 6 months. I also featured this piece in the 20th annual Art All Night – Lawrenceville.

Original SOLD

“Lizard in the Midst of an Existential Crisis”
Detail
Art All Night 2017

It all started with just a small canvas and a little bit of apoxie sculpt.

Note: The eye was first painted on canvas – which I eventually cut out because I hated the canvas texture.
Only some of the scales are sculpted
Painting between scales
I went through many layers of oil paint over several months (oil dries SLOWLY). Note the canvas texture to the eye. Blech. I’m fine with canvas for some of the skin and how it contrasts with the sculpted part.
As mentioned above, I hated the eye. So I ripped it out and sculpted an actual iris (that pupil actually has depth including behind the iris)
Glass cabochon
There is pearl pigment mixed in the iris paint
lame
In the end, I epoxied the sculpted iris to the back of the glass with a crystal clear resin. I built the frame out of some 100+ year old reclaimed wood.

 

Oil Sketches #1-3

My amazing wife bought me a new oil painting kit for my birthday. It’s officially time for me to learn how to actually use them! I did a few tiny sketches (like 4×4″) just to practice this relatively new medium (I’ve only used once before on this 3D octopus).

Oil Sketch #3: Laguna Waves” (based on a photo from a vacation in Laguna Beach)
Oil Sketch #2: Double-Collared Sunbird” (based on my photograph in Cape Town, South Africa)
Oil Sketch #1: Shorebird (based on a photo from our wedding in Mauritius)

 

  

Precision and Translational Pharmacology grant RFA flier

This is a little graphic I made for an RFA (request for application) for grant submissions (with breast cancer-related imagery). This work also contains within it my previous works from a series I took for “Images Fighting Cancer” and a Breast Diagram.

The image also showed up on the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) television screens around campus.

Wings & Wildlife Art Show 2016 – the National Aviary

I was once again accepted to show my artwork at this year’s Wings & Wildlife Art Show at the National Aviary. There’s  nothing quite like sharing one’s wildlife-inspired art while surrounded by birds from around the world.

My wife makes everything prettier
My low-budget booth
Franklin the spectacled owl being show off by Mia
My wife and I admiring this African penguin

 

The view from my booth in the atrium