Joining the flock

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Project by dennis mitchell posted 11-24-2006 06:50 AM 2615 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lori Corbett’s interview has me dragging out my old bird samples.. This is a set of carved and painted panels I made on maple. The hope was someone would at say “wow that would look nice on a pair of cabinet doors”. That never happened so they just sit in the corner of my shop keeping the saw dust from getting swept up. I did sell a hutch with a chipmong motif and I use the robin as the back ground for my business cards. I usually paint with oils but on this project I switched to acrylic. The carving is a simple relief. I have a vision of all types of furniture projects using the same methods but as of yet no buyers. I really enjoyed making them…and keep thinking one of these days.

8 comments so far

View Lori Corbett's profile

Lori Corbett

26 posts in 4811 days

#1 posted 11-24-2006 09:13 AM

I love’ em, Dennis! I’m happy to see my interview is causing a Gathering of the Flock! Your panels will find a home…they’re just waiting patiently…

-- "Jeez, Lori who were YOUR freakin' parents?" - Wendi R. (My Sis)

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4940 days

#2 posted 11-24-2006 07:46 PM

You’ve heard me tell you before that this carved and painted original artwork you do on your own hand-made furniture is a really unique niche. I realize that you have said in other places on lumberjocks that the gallery you worked with asked you not to do the carving so that the pieces could appeal to a wider audience. That is probably true for the gallery that told you that, but I think this is your unique niche. Another gallery would probably tell you the opposite, depending on their own clientele.

There is a place in this world where people will want this work. Eventhough you haven’t seen the number of buyers you want at this point, I think it is a matter of exposure, not the product. Hang in there, there are many people in this world that can put together woodworking projects, but few have the eye or the talent to decorate the items as you are able to do.

My suggestion is to work on the “exposure” side of your marketing. I know you are doing that already, but feel confidence in this product and the application of your artistic abilities with carving tools and paint. High-end juried shows are expensive. High circulation quality magazines are expensive. However, website traffic is fairly inexpensive.

What I am finding with my website statistics is that people are increasingly finding my site based on key word searches in Google, finding my site based on actual text written in my site. Google appears to be working more on actual, updated, text, not than the old method of key words, which I think are called Megatags, or something like that. The hits I have seen the past 4-5 months have been to actual text words, not the megatag list I have provided to google in the past.

I think it has to do with the misuse of the key word idea from over zealous website owners. I would encourage you to write text, which do very well, and make as many descriptions of this carved work as you can think of to write. Write up descriptions, write up technique tips, write up articles of your own on bird watching, etc.

I am finding in key-word hits on my site, that the text words don’t have to even be in the same order, or the same sentence, or even in the same project, but it can exist in any location of my site. The more people that find the site, the more google seems to provide it as a hit to their search, and the higher up the list my website shows.

I have found that 6 months ago my work showed up on a google search in the 12th or lower page. Now, this new traffic is moving my site up to page 1 and page 2 hits, which means the odds of interesting someone to actually go to my website are increasing significantly. It seems to all feed in a circle, the more hits, the more pageloads, the more hits, etc.

If you aren’t currently seeing statistics for your website, I would recommend that you do that. You can get a free service from, and once you start seeing the data, you will think up ideas to increase your “exposure” even more. The work is great, once more people see it, I feel that the ability to find paying homes for your work will increase. Artists are normally Melancholy in temperment, which means that we can go up and down in emotions easily, often caused by someone else’s review, or appreciation, or lack of appreciation for our work. I would encourage you to push ahead with your carving work, even when it seems that no one is noticing your work, or giving financial attention to it.

Another aspect that I have been learning is the art of selling retail, which is hugely different than my days of selling technical services to corporations and purchasing agents. I would recommend visiting I met this guy at a conference in Colorado a few years ago, and bought some of the training materials, which were great. Also, he has a daily email that I have found to be invaluable in preparing myself for the day, and also preparing my mind for the onslaught of various priorities for my time and attention. I would recommend signing up for the free morning emails at his site.

Hope this helps you some. Please keep carving & painting.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4771 days

#3 posted 11-26-2006 12:31 PM

Not everyone understands “Artistic Genius”. A lot of people only see dollars. Some probably suggested that the Mona Lisa be painted a nude. The Sistines Chapel was supposed to be a wall painting… It’s what comes from your heart, your very being. Do as you feel led. You may never get rich, but if you feel that you gave a piece your all, and poured out what you have in you, you’ll sleep well. I recently read something about Sam Maloof not selling out. You think Sam slept well after the decision?

View Diane's profile


546 posts in 4657 days

#4 posted 04-29-2007 02:33 PM

I agree with Mark people will buy your work it is great, it must be due to a lack of exposure like he said. I know I love your work.


View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4849 days

#5 posted 04-30-2007 06:05 AM

Thanks Diane. I’m just all a loss at selling my art. It is in Gods plans. As long as I continue on this path I’ll keep discovering different types of riches.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4695 days

#6 posted 04-30-2007 01:31 PM

I had a thought Dennis – about connecting with a company who builds log houses or strawbale homes etc and supporting each other by promoting each other’s sites… I bet that people having these types of homes would be especially interested in your style of artistry.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4514 days

#7 posted 02-26-2008 02:49 AM

Hi Dennis,

You are a prime candidate for inlay and marquetry, as your artistic ability is abundant.

Beautiful work.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4849 days

#8 posted 02-26-2008 07:31 PM

Thanks Lee. Inlay and Marquetry are on the to do list…

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