Tilt Front Desk with DeCou Original Carved Panel; inspired by the late-Birger Sandzen

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 10-15-2007 10:14 PM 5898 views 3 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks for looking.

This project has been “sold”, but if you would like something similar, please email me:

[email protected]

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Project Story:
This is a commissioned project for a past client. They needed a laptop computer desk to sit off the side of the kitchen, and wanted it to match the existing Birch Cabinets built in the early 1960’s. They also wanted a carved panel on the front with my own original artwork design, inspired by the work of Kansas artist, the late-Birger Sandzen.

What I designed was a tilt front desk to provide both a work surface, and hidden storage, with open cookbook storage below. On top of the desk, will sit another bookcase to hold Cookbooks.

The artwork I drew and carved is of a Kansas Flinthill’s Prairie homestead scene that I titled “Stone House on the Prairie.”

I also built the hammered copper finger pull handle myself, as working in copper is something I enjoy doing as well.

The carving has been airbrushed with tinted lacquer to add depth, shadows, and to form the styling of a late-Birger Sandzen styled woodcut print.

If you would like to see the building process for this project, please visit my blogs, where I detailed the various parts of the project.

  1. Building the Project
  2. Carving the Panel
  3. Airbrushing the Carving
  4. Making the Copper Hardware
  5. Designing and Building the Matching Chair
  6. Desk, Chair, and Shelving Installed

Mark DeCou

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Want to See More of my Furniture Work?:
If you go to my Mark DeCou Website you will find that I have not updated my website in quite some time. I realize that I need to invest in improving my website, but until that is accomplished, here are some more Lumberjocks related lilnks with updated postings of my furniture work, sorted into categories. Thanks for your interest in my work, and your patience with my website.

Arts and Crafts, Mission Style Related Projects:
  1. Arts & Crafts Entry Table; with Carved Oak Leaves
  2. Arts & Crafts Orchid Stand w/ Wine Bottle Storage
  3. Arts & Crafts Style Morris Inspired Chairs
  4. Arts & Crafts Display Top Coffee Table
  5. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired End Table Set
  6. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired Prairie Couch
  7. Table Lamps
  8. Arts & Crafts Carved Entertainment Center
  9. Mission Entertainment Center
Church & Worship-Art Related Projects:
  1. Carved Communion Table
  2. Carved Roll Top Sound Equipment Cabinet
  3. Fancy Church Side Altars
  4. Processional Cross
  5. Fancy Speaker's Lectern
  6. Church Hymn Number Board
  7. Communion Chalice (Cup) and Paten
Art-Furniture Related Projects:
  1. Sam Maloof Inspired Walnut Rocker
  2. Original Art Carved Tilt Front Desk, inspired by Birger Sandzen
  3. Natural Edge; Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table
  4. Decoratively Painted Box End Tables
  5. Birch China Cabinet for Cut Glass Collection
Rustic, Western, Cedar Log, and Cowboy Related Projects:
  1. Naughty (Knotty) Refined Rustic White Oak & Black Walnut China Hutch
  2. A Kansa Indian and Buffalo Accent Art-Chair
  3. Refined Rustic Dining Chairs
  4. Refined Rustic Dining Table
  5. Cowboy-Western Style Suitcase/Luggage Support Racks
  6. Fun With Cedar Logs #1; Sitting Stool
  7. Fun With Cedar Logs #2; Coat/Hat/Spur Rack
  8. Fun With Cedar Logs #3; Western Style Hat/Coat Rack
  9. Fun With Cedar Logs #4; Entryway Stool
Outdoor Furniture Related:
  1. Kennebunkport Style Adirondack Chair
  2. Outdoor Garden Wedding Arbor
  3. Outdoor Project: Cedar Wood Double Settee

These photos, project design, original artwork, and sketches are protected by copyright by M.A. DeCou 10-15-2007, all rights reserved. Please inquire into the use of this material, I might surprise you and say, “Yes.”

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

22 comments so far

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5108 days

#1 posted 10-15-2007 10:17 PM

As always, Mark, this is amazing work! Very beautiful and original.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5211 days

#2 posted 10-15-2007 10:21 PM

Wonderful work Mark. Showed to the folks around the house here and everyone really likes it.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 5105 days

#3 posted 10-15-2007 10:35 PM

Followed this in your blog, and like I said there this is a really great piece. Making your own hardware is just showing off though ;-)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5150 days

#4 posted 10-15-2007 10:49 PM

This is an amazing piece, Mark. It is to your usual standard.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14189 posts in 5097 days

#5 posted 10-15-2007 10:52 PM

Great work. Enjoyed the blog too !!

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5332 days

#6 posted 10-15-2007 11:04 PM

You know Mark, with a little practice I think you could become a reasonably good carver. LOL!

I always admire your work, but you really outdid yourself with this one!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

245 posts in 5553 days

#7 posted 10-15-2007 11:15 PM

Fantastic, Mark!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5076 days

#8 posted 10-15-2007 11:54 PM

This has become what we expect from you, Mark. Another fantastic, wonderful piece of Art. Congratulations.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5104 days

#9 posted 10-15-2007 11:55 PM

Wow Mark, this did turn out real nice. I like the brick detail on the house as well.

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View David's profile


1969 posts in 5253 days

#10 posted 10-16-2007 12:58 AM

Mark -

Wonderful work as always! Thanks for sharing the building process.



View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4994 days

#11 posted 10-16-2007 01:15 AM

great work !

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6875 posts in 5093 days

#12 posted 10-16-2007 01:21 AM

Hi Mark;

Don’t you think it’s time to go “pro”? LOL

If only your client’s could realize your very soul is in each piece you build, they might be willing to pay what it’s really worth.

As always, outstanding!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

657 posts in 5248 days

#13 posted 10-16-2007 03:54 AM

Just as I would expect from you. Quality that only a few out there can achieve. A big thunbs up from me!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Karson's profile


35276 posts in 5514 days

#14 posted 10-16-2007 04:08 AM


A great job. Superior design and implementation. I hope the customer is back for more.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View 's profile

593 posts in 5086 days

#15 posted 10-16-2007 12:19 PM

I am sure someday people will study Mark’s work in the books as we do nowadays with the works of Maloof, Nakashima or the rest…

”Chapeau bas, Monsieur”, my hat’s off to you, Sir.

Now, the problem is that, if I were the lucky customer, I’d never put the laptop on it because that would mean I won’t be able to see the carving! :o)

showing 1 through 15 of 22 comments

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