When the Cows Come Home, Daniel D Brown, 2017 – Mixed Media

This is a sculpture/painting of migrating cownose rays. I made it over the course of a year,  making the actual work a year ago and the frame/base recently. I first laid down a layer of paint on a piece of 4″ x 4″ wood, followed by sequential layers of rays painted on Envirotex Lite resin with acrylic paint (six layers). The final ray was sculpted with apoxie sculpt and the water ripples were made with ModPodge. Finally, I made a base/frame from a chunk of walnut wood, which I sculpted with a dremel.

“When the Cows Come Home” – Daniel D Brown, 2017, Mixed Media

Here is a quick video showinf what the resin part actually looks like in 3D (with light refractions)


The light refractions are beautiful when the sun hits it right.
ModPodge ripples


Stormtrooper – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Intarsia

My buddy @scrapforge made me a scribing knife. So I made him this from Cherry and Walnut. 


And here are a bunch of views under different lighting conditions:


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.

Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #4 – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Red Oak, Poplar, and Pine

I made this one from the same wood I used to make Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #3. I decided to try some more interesting shaping on this one. I also finished it with Walnut oil (food safe) instead of polyurethane.


Seen here compared to Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #3

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!

Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #3 – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Red Oak, Poplar, and Pine

This is the third nautilus-inspired scrollsaw shell I’ve made (see #1, and #2). This one I made from some red oak, pine, and poplar I laminated together and cut into wedges (by hand).



Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #2 – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Pine

This is my second practice scrollsaw shell (made with the same piece of lumber as Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #1 – go here to see how these are made). This method was first invented by my cousin Steve Garrison.

This shell is the middle one below, also shown with Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #1 and Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #3).

“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.


Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #1 – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Pine

I recently bought a scrollsaw, and as practice I decided to make a nautilus-inspired shell using a method first invented by my cousin Steve Garrison. I started with a really old pine 2″ x 4″ I found in my basement.

(This is the one on top below, also shown with Scrollsaw Nautilus Shell #2 and Scrollsaw Shell #3).

How they were made:

Step 1: cutting wedges (I sued my friend’s miter saw)
Segments were cut on my porter-cable scrollsaw
Individual segments cut from the wedges.
Which were glued together in pairs

Then sanded and shaped with a dremel


I stained it with a vinegar/steel wool mix
And made a stand from some scrap


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”
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
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.