Commissions are collaborations with the client. My hope is to always personalize a project for the owner. I want to know what their interests are and I want to make something special for them.
About twenty years ago I was contacted by a woman who told me she liked my work and wanted a unique piece. But she didn’t know what that might be. Over the phone I discovered she had two particular passions; her dogs and travel. She owned mastiffs and wanted to see the world. Could those two things be brought into the piece?
I had done a number of pieces with marquetry “magazines” looking like they were sitting on top of a table. Perhaps a cabinet could have magazines with a travel and pet theme. I thought it might be fun to have dog’s paws instead of a ball and claw. I’m not a great carver but I thought I could manage paws. She liked the concept, but wondered if mastiff heads might be carved as well. I didn’t feel confident about doing a good job on the heads, but I contacted my friend, Dimitrios Klitsas. He is an excellent carver and I asked if he might be interested in doing the carving. He readily agreed and the piece became a delightful group effort.
One of the magazines is “Bone Voyage” and has a dog on the beach sitting in a cabana reading a newspaper. The other magazine is “Travel World” and has Popeye at the helm of a cruise ship.