Iris Carving with Curly Maple Frame

Iris Carving Robert W. Lang

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This piece has been sold, but I would be happy to make another for you. E-mail for details.

This is an interpretation of one of the panels from the Byrdcliff Iris Desk, panels designed in 1902 by Zulma Steele. To read more about the original piece of furniture, and to see images of the original panels, CLICK HERE.

In the original desk, this panel is part of a triptych carved from poplar and framed with cherry, the drop-front panel of a small desk. I became intrigued with the concept of carved, colored panels when I built a reproduction of the Byrdcliffe Linen Press.  As with the linen press, I can’t leave well enough alone and reproduce the carvings – they always look too flat and rather lifeless to me. I’ve carved all three of the panels with more relief than the originals but with the original color scheme. Some photos of those panels are in this post.

I’ve never been afraid of “what if” questions, and when my wife asked me “what if you did one with more realistic carving and coloring?” I agreed to give it a try, if she would do the coloring. So I carved another iris panel, following her suggestions for the details on the petals. While she colored the carving, I made a frame from tiger maple, finished with amber shellac.

Iris Carving by Robert W. Lang

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The carving is 4-3/4″ wide and 11-1/2″ tall, the same dimensions as the original desk panel. The frame is 9-1/4″ wide and 16″ tall. The colors are light-fast watercolors. The carving is sealed before coloring, and top-coated with shellac and lacquer. The colors are translucent, so the character and grain of the hand-carved wood panel are visible.

Of course a good “what-if” question leads to several more. “What if this were a triptych panel, as in the original desk front but with this style of carving and coloring?” “What if that panel was the drop front of a reproduction of the original desk, built from tiger maple with this finish?” If your interested in seeing the answer to that question (and having it in your home) get in touch with me and we can discuss a commission.

In the meantime, the piece shown here is for sale and available for immediate delivery for $275.00 + $17.90 for priority mail shipping to addresses in the United States.

Framed Iris Panel hand carved by Robert W. Lang and hand painted by Joyce M. Lang

Click Here to Inquire about other colors or custom carvings.

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