Darth Maul, Daniel D. Brown, Ph.D., 2020

“Darth Maul”, 2020, wooden intarsia.
All natural wood colors, zero paint or stain. Maul was cut on a scrollsaw, and the frame was mostly handcarved with chisels. Made from 11 species of wood: padauk, wenge, walnut, chakte viga, mahogany, purpleheart, redheart, yellowheart, basswood, holly, and ebony. See below for more information. The process was documented in Instagram stories highlighted on my profile.

Darth Maul was a character I didn’t find particularly interesting until Dave Filoni and his team expanded on his story, character, and motivations in Clone Wars. I thought it was pretty sweet how for the final season they brought in both the original Maul @iamraypark and his voice @switwer1. There was 1 particular scene that when I saw it, I immediately knew I needed to make an artwork based on it. Luke @cyclocrosscutter had the same idea, and actually brought it up to me first. One day I sent him a vid of me working on the design and he replied with an identical vid happening at the same time. From there it snowballed into a competition between me, Luke, and Justin @scrollsawscribbler to see who would make the better Wooden Maul piece. They’re both incredibly talented artists/woodworkers, despite this obviously thorough trouncing (there’s your set up, Luke). As I’m sure you will see, Luke will soon claim victory with some heavy-handed gimmickry. We’ll see if he can actually pull it off. If he does, I will bow down in defeat. Justin’s version is pretty dang sweet, though he had significantly less time to devote given he’s neck deep in actual $ commissions. No one can touch Justin in his unique style.

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“Darth Maul”, 2020, wooden intarsia. All natural wood colors, zero paint or stain. Maul was cut on a scrollsaw, and the frame was mostly handcarved with chisels. Made from 11 species of wood: padauk, wenge, walnut, chakte viga, mahogany, purpleheart, redheart, yellowheart, basswood, holly, and ebony. Darth Maul was a character I didn’t find particularly interesting until Dave Filoni and his team expanded on his story, character, and motivations in Clone Wars. I thought it was pretty sweet how for the final season they brought in both the original Maul @iamraypark and his voice @switwer1. There was 1 particular scene that when I saw it, I immediately knew I needed to make an artwork based on it. Luke @cyclocrosscutter had the same idea, and actually brought it up to me first. One day I sent him a vid of me working on the design and he replied with an identical vid happening at the same time. From there it snowballed into a competition between me, Luke, and Justin @scrollsawscribbler to see who would make the better Wooden Maul piece. They’re both incredibly talented artists/woodworkers, despite this obviously thorough trouncing (there’s your set up, Luke). As I’m sure you will see, Luke will soon claim victory with some heavy-handed gimmickry. We’ll see if he can actually pull it off. If he does, I will bow down in defeat. Justin’s version is pretty dang sweet, though he had significantly less time to devote given he’s neck deep in actual $ commissions. No one can touch Justin in his unique style. There will be a separate post of all 3 pieces once Luke is done with his. … #clonewars #starwars #starwarsfanart #darthmaul #scrollsawart #starwarsfan #pittsburghwoodworking #pittsburghartist #woodintarsia #madeinpittsburgh #makergeeks

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Apprentice & Master, Daniel D. Brown, Ph.D., 2020

“Apprentice & Master”
(Ahsoka Tano & Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader)

Did you know that Anakin Skywalker had a young Padawan learner before his tragic fall to the Dark Side? If not, you probably haven’t watched “Clone Wars” or “Rebels” (spoiler warning). Thanks to a couple follower’s suggestions, I thought I’d give a little explanation of this piece below and why I chose it for the folks who haven’t watched those shows.

First off, my favorite character in the Star Wars Universe MAY just be Ahsoka Tano. Definitely top 5. She starts off as a plucky, slightly annoying, and initially unwanted 14 yr old apprentice to Anakin and ends up over the course of both TV series as a wise, badass, saber-wielding champion and rebel. Thanks to the stellar voice acting of @ashleyeckstein and the creative mastermind @dave.filoni , her story arc is incredibly well-developed (and hopefully not quite over). Her complex relationship with Anakin makes his eventual downfall all the more tragic. Anakin’s slow decent from true hero to corrupted villain and its emotional impact is made believable by the outstanding work of @mattlanter in a way that I don’t think the prequel movies ever really pulled off. I, like many, initially resisted watching because I thought it was a “cartoon for kids”. But once I got into it, I found some of the storytelling to be among the best in Star Wars. So, this artwork is based on a few stills from my second favorite scene from Rebels (guess my first?): the battle in which Ahsoka realizes that Darth Vader is none other than her beloved former Master. Noooooooooo!
Cut by hand on the scrollsaw, it was constructed from 16 species of wood (no paint or stain) in “intarsia” style over ~3 weeks. Their names in Aurebesh were burned into the frame, along with the Fulcrum, Rebel, Jedi, and Empire insignia.
Species: wenge, katalox, ebony, walnut, maple, chakte viga, crab apple, purpleheart, redheart, yellowheart, padauk, aspen, holly, yew, & basswood.

Captain Rex, Daniel D. Brown, Ph.D., 2020

Here’s a quick little project I built last weekend. A wooden intarsia piece featuring everyone’s favorite Jango clone and Ahsoka-friend, Captain Rex (@deebradleybaker) from Star Wars: Clone Wars. What can I say? I’m excited as hell for Season 7 next month! And why build 1 when I can build 2? The second one went to my fellow SW geek and woodworker buddy Luke @cyclocrosscutter. Made from regular, curly, and spalted maple, purpleheart, katalox, wenge, walnut, cherry, and luaun ply. PS pretend the purpleheart is blue. Unfortunately, blueheart wood isn’t a thing. And I don’t usually do stains/dyes.

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Here’s a quick little project I built last weekend. A wooden intarsia piece featuring everyone’s favorite Jango clone and Ahsoka-friend, Captain Rex (@deebradleybaker) from Star Wars: Clone Wars. What can I say? I’m excited as hell for Season 7 next month! And why build 1 when I can build 2? The second one went to my fellow SW geek and woodworker buddy Luke @cyclocrosscutter. Made from regular, curly, and spalted maple, purpleheart, katalox, wenge, walnut, cherry, and luaun ply. PS pretend the purpleheart is blue. Unfortunately, blueheart wood isn’t a thing. And I don’t do stains/dyes. #starwarsart #captainrex #clonewars #intarsia #scrollsawart #woodart #maytheforcebewithyou @craft_the_force

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Punch it!, Daniel D. Brown, Ph.D., 2019

“Punch it!”, Daniel D. Brown, 2019, handmade wooden multimedia intarsia artwork based on Star Wars.

See more video of lights & sound here

I built this artwork of Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon over the course of 7 weeks from ~190 hand-cut (scrollsawed) pieces of wood from over 20 different species, most of it reclaimed. The star trails were also scrollsawed and filled with resin. I designed it in Adobe Illustrator, based on a movie still frame. Although the original plan was much simpler, over the course of the project I ended up adding an Adafruit soundboard with 6 scores that play through 1 button (the small white one), and 10 movie dialogue clips that play through another (the left thruster stick). A rebel insignia button on the right of the frame powers the sound. Toward the end of the project, I decided to add radiating Adafruit DotStar LED strips controlled by three different programs I coded on an Arduino Uno, which can be switched by moving Han’s dice (made in a previous project) containing an embedded magnet. The top of the frame has 2 hidden magnetic switches embedded within it. The light power is currently controlled by telling my phone “Hey Siri, punch it!” Or “Exit hyperspace”.

Note: this is not for sale. This was for me alone.
The entire process was documented in well over 200 Instagram stories, now highlighted on my profile in 3 parts. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
I have to give HUGE heartfelt thanks to the many many people constantly offering encouragement and advice. You’re seriously the only reason I posted all the build details.
Of course, I’d like to thank George Lucas and the countless artists of all types who’ve made Star Wars such a fun Universe.

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“Punch it!”, Daniel D. Brown, 2019, handmade wooden multimedia intarsia artwork based on Star Wars. (The basic demonstration video) I built this artwork of Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon over the course of 7 weeks from ~190 hand-cut (scrollsawed) pieces of wood from over 20 different species, most of it reclaimed. The star trails were also scrollsawed and filled with resin. Although the original plan was much simpler, over the course of the project I ended up adding a soundboard with 6 scores that play through 1 button (the small white one), and 10 movie dialogue clips that play through another (the left thruster stick). A rebel insignia button on the right of the frame powers the sound. Toward the end of the project, I decided to add radiating LED strips controlled by three different programs I coded on an Arduino, which can be switched by moving Han’s dice (from a previous project) containing an embedded magnet. The top of the frame has 2 hidden magnetic switches embedded within it. The light power is currently controlled by telling my phone “Hey Siri, punch it!” Or “Exit hyperspace”. I am planning a separate post for the details on materials, tools, and special thanks. Note: this is not for sale. This was for me alone. The entire process was documented in well over 200 stories, now highlighted on my profile in 3 parts. I have to give HUGE heartfelt thanks to the many many people constantly offering encouragement and advice. You’re seriously the only reason I posted all the build details. Of course, I’d like to thank George Lucas and the countless artists of all types who’ve made Star Wars such a fun Universe. … #starwars #starwarsday #starwarsfan #starwarsart #starwarsgeeks #starwarsnerds #maytheforcebewithyou #igwoodworker #igwoodworkingcommunity #woodworkingcommunity #woodworks #woodart #woodworking #woodworker #scrollsawart #maker #scrollsaw #intarsia #woodintarsia #millenniumfalcon #artistsoninstagram #artist #artstagram #solo #chewbacca #empirestrikesback #anewhope #returnofthejedi #disney #lucasfilm @crafttheforce

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“Punch it!” This post is to 1) show the sound clips included in the piece, 2) highlight the kind folks who provided help and 3) list the tools and materials used (I get many questions). See previous posts for info on the build. Special thanks to @cyclocrosscutter for convincing me to upgrade the sound, encouraging me with witty insults, and being an inspiration with his mediocre geek builds. Also to @worksbyahurst for generously sending me his sound files from his mind-blowing Millennium Falcon build. And to @hardwoodmikes for incredibly helpful coding advice. The wood: most reclaimed by me from various sources. Padauk, purpleheart, bloodwood, elm, spalted maple, sycamore, ebony, wenge, cherry, white oak, sapele, mahogany, pine, luaun ply, bamboo, unknown pallet & scrap wood. Chewie is made from a 1970s S. African stinkwood chair from @sledv_life_rocks . Han’s sleeve was curly maple given by the master woodworker/artist @copper_pig_fine_woodworking. Some walnut from woodworker @mpi_woodworking. Some exotics were a gift from guitar builder @rapfohl. The rest came from @ocoochhardwoods and @rockler_woodworking. My trusty scrollsaw: she’s not the best $ can buy but I’ve made some cool things with my @portercable w/ Flying Dutchman blades. Big cuts done on my sweet @rikon_powertools bandsaw, and @dewalttough table saw and planer. Drill press was a generous gift from my buddy @slapstufftogether (he carved a badass Yoda lamp that was an inspiration). Shaping is with @saburrtooth and @kutzall burrs on my @dremel. I’d be lost without my @ridgid and @boschtoolsna sanders (with @mirka_usa discs). I go through so much @starbondadhesives CA glue, @titebondproducts II, and @3m Super 77 spray and packing tape. @odiesoil and @generalfinishes for finishing. I used an @adafruit soundboard and their DotStar LEDs, as well as an @arduino.cc Uno to control them. Of course this thing would not exist without the IP created by George Lucas (@lucasfilm and now @disney). #starwars #starwarsfan #starwarsart #starwarsgeeks #igwoodworker #woodworking #woodart #scrollsawart #maker #scrollsaw #intarsia #woodintarsia #millenniumfalcon #empirestrikesback #anewhope #returnofthejedi

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“Punch it!”, Daniel D. Brown, 2019, handmade wooden multimedia intarsia artwork based on Star Wars. It’s time for some final posts on this piece! (More vids in separate posts). I built this artwork of Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon over the course of 7 weeks from ~190 hand-cut (scrollsawed) pieces of wood from over 20 different species, most of it reclaimed. The star trails were also scrollsawed and filled with resin. Although the original plan was much simpler, over the course of the project I ended up adding a soundboard with 6 scores that play through 1 button (the small white one), and 10 movie dialogue clips that play through another (the left thruster stick). A rebel insignia button on the right of the frame powers the sound. Toward the end of the project, I decided to add radiating LED strips controlled by three different programs I coded on an Arduino, which can be switched by moving Han’s dice (from a previous project) containing an embedded magnet. The top of the frame has 2 hidden magnetic switches embedded within it. The light power is currently controlled by telling my phone “Hey Siri, punch it!” Or “Exit hyperspace”. I am planning a separate post for the details on materials, tools, and special thanks. Note: this is not for sale. This was for me alone. The entire process was documented in well over 200 stories, now highlighted on my profile in 3 parts. I have to give HUGE heartfelt thanks to the many many people constantly offering encouragement and advice. You’re seriously the only reason I posted all the build details. Of course, I’d like to thank George Lucas and the countless artists of all types who’ve made Star Wars such a fun Universe. … #starwars #starwarsday #starwarsfan #starwarsart #starwarsgeeks #starwarsnerds #maytheforcebewithyou #igwoodworker #igwoodworkingcommunity #woodworkingcommunity #woodworks #woodart #woodworking #woodworker #scrollsawart #maker #scrollsaw #intarsia #woodintarsia #millenniumfalcon #artistsoninstagram #artist #artstagram #solo #chewbacca #empirestrikesback #anewhope #returnofthejedi #disney #lucasfilm @crafttheforce

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Here’s the penultimate update on this wooden intarsia artwork entitled “Punch It”. In poor night-time indoor lighting. But you get the idea. I can now clearly see the finish line! In fact it’s already hanging in my man cave. I still plan to try installing some fancier programmed LEDs with an Arduino controlling it (many thanks to @hardwoodmikes for his advice and help today in planning). The current LED system is just taped in haphazardly (and why it’s dark around the edges). The rebel insignia power button has its polyurethane drying right now, so that’s not installed yet. But very soon I’ll be taking some final photographs and videos and call her done. I’m SUPER stoked with how the @adafruit soundboard worked out. And I am forever in the debt of @cyclocrosscutter for insulting me until I “went big or went home” in regards to not using a greeting card module. Thanks again to @worksbyahurst for some of the sound files. I have more people I will thank later for providing woods and tools. I plan on making a whole post dedicated to “materials and methods” on this build at some point. #starwars #starwarsday #starwarsfan #starwarsart #starwarsgeeks #starwarsnerds #maytheforcebewithyou #igwoodworker #igwoodworkingcommunity #woodworkingcommunity #woodworks #woodart #woodworking #woodworker #scrollsawart #maker #scrollsaw #intarsia #woodintarsia #millenniumfalcon #artistsoninstagram #artist #artstagram #solo #chewbacca #empirestrikesback #anewhope #returnofthejedi @craft_the_force

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Update. So here’s my finishing plan: I want the background to be glossy, Han’s jacket and Chewie’s bandolier leather to have a satin finish, the bandolier boxes to be semi-gloss, and Han’s hair and Chewie’s fur to have a softer natural wood finish. So I’m gonna use 3 @generalfinishes polyurethanes and @odiesoil. These are my two finishing brands I use in 99% of my projects, having tried a bunch. I have no idea how this will actually look together, but I feel like it may add a bit more depth to the piece. Some notes on finishing: I normally apply finish on intarsia pieces after putting everything together. But since I’m using 4 different finishes, pre-finishing is easier and will ensure I don’t get crossover. For the polyurethane I build up coats with gloss (sanding lightly at 800 grit between coats). The final coat is the desired final surface (gloss, semi, or satin). For the hair and fur, I’m trying something I’ve never done. After rough sanding I raised the grain with water and did NOT sand again. This tends to leave the wood a little fuzzy and my hope is that it will make the hair and fur look softer and more organic. Odie’s is my go to for natural wood finish. It’s gorgeous, has high moisture protection with only 1 coat, or occasionally 2 for thirsty wood. I apply, let it sit for 30 min, then rub it off and buff.

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Still a ways to go… A few answers, random thoughts, and things I wanted to say about this piece and my art: 1) The idea for this first came to me about a year and a half ago when I saw a huge decal of this scene on the back of a pickup truck window. It’s been percolating ever since, but I’d been too nervous to start it because I knew it was gonna be a long and challenging project. And I honestly wasn’t sure if I could pull it off or if it would even look cool. Hopefully it will! 2) Ive had a lot of people message asking if it’s a commission or for sale. For me it’s the best kind of project – I’m the client, no deadline, no pressure, and no real goal other than making something this silly geek will consider epic hanging in our “Lair”. It’s not really for sale. That being said, I’d let go of almost anything I make for a price. But for this piece it’d have to be a ”Harrison Ford Star Wars money” price. Do any of you know Harrison Ford? 😂🤣😂 3) I’ve only been making wood art pieces like this for ~3 years and I started with just a cheap big box store jigsaw (and almost zero knowledge or skill). Most of my tools are Craigslist, hand me downs, and a precious few were big ticket items I saved up for. Most of my wood is reclaimed – scavenged here and there, with some exotic exceptions. I’m almost 42 years old now (yikes!). The point being: if you really want to learn to make or do cool things, regardless of the field, you almost certainly can do it. I started by reading a couple books and watching countless YouTube videos. Now when I need help or advice (which is often), I seek out others here in the IG community I’ve met. I don’t believe I have any special skill or talent. I’ve just practiced a bit. I do have patience (that part is required, but can also be learned). That’s all for now. … #starwars #starwarsday #starwarsfan #starwarsart #starwarsgeeks #starwarsnerds #maytheforcebewithyou #igwoodworkingcommunity #woodworks #woodart #woodworking #woodworker #scrollsawart #maker #scrollsaw #intarsia #woodintarsia #millenniumfalcon #artistsoninstagram #artist #artstagram #solo #chewbacca #empirestrikesback #anewhope #returnofthejedi #pittsburghwoodworking

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Han & Chewie progress update: I’m slowly building up the layers, an hour or two per day, shaping pieces here and there. I’ve started at least a first attempt at the hyperspace background by ebonizing a walnut panel with some old vinegar/steel wool mix I made 2 years ago. I’m still doing some other small tests before I decide how exactly to attempt the star trails. Still many many hours to go on this thing. But I’m pretty excited about it so far! … #starwars #starwarsday #starwarsfan #starwarsart #starwarsgeeks #starwarsnerds #maytheforcebewithyou #igwoodworker #igwoodworkingcommunity #woodworkingcommunity #woodworks #woodart #woodworking #woodworker #scrollsawart #maker #scrollsaw #intarsia #woodintarsia

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