Artist's Sitting Bench

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Project by jdrouin posted 11-17-2021 07:43 PM 965 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finished this sitting bench for an artist last summer, after working on it for more than nine months, and handed to her last week. For process pics follow me on Instagram, where I post most of my creative activities now:

The bench is made of quarter sawn white oak for water resistance, stability, and decorative figure. Accents are purpleheart (drawer handle and key splines) and padauk (tool organizer). It features a floating drawer case for tool storage and a step for getting above clay and exerting downward force. In the step, I chose to include damage that occurred in the lumber yard in order to honor the imperfection of Nature and Art.

No coloring of the wood whatsoever; only a water based polyurethane to bring out the natural gold, purple, and orange of the material and allow the grain & figure to speak for themselves. The seating surface panel was joined by the figure, rather than the grain, to form an image about the four elements: blowing prairie grass (earth), flowing water, and renewing fire, all driven by the wind, which I attempted to represent by bringing out a sense of movement in the figure.

The bottom of the drawer features an engraving that echoes the figure into a more coherent picture about the watercycle and the four elements.

The accoutrements provide flexible working options. The organizer in the drawer is a tray that comes out for convenient tool placement. A purpleheart caddie with curved sides, lined with epoxy for water tightness, can receive wet tools and small parts. The miniature furniture thing holds sharp #tools both vertically and horizontally for safe and fast swaps. The display box is the only piece that includes decorative metal (gold). It contains small bottles of sawdust from the six species that went into the bench plus the splinter I removed from the gash in the step. A sepulchral lid protects the splinter while a felt-lined bracket hugs the bottles in place when the box is closed. The accoutrements are made of quarter sawn white oak, purpleheart, and padauk, the three primary materials in the bench.

I plan to make separate project posts for the peripheral objects.

9 comments so far

View 987Ron's profile (online now)


2687 posts in 651 days

#1 posted 11-17-2021 08:08 PM

Great bench and good workmanship. Some great art should come off the bench.

-- Ron

View jdrouin's profile


15 posts in 715 days

#2 posted 11-17-2021 08:19 PM

Thank you! Much appreciated.

View djs's profile


9 posts in 4176 days

#3 posted 11-17-2021 09:55 PM


View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1387 posts in 3048 days

#4 posted 11-17-2021 10:05 PM

Lovely bench with a lot of fine details, thanks for sharing. Would love to see the film but it seems to be not acessible

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View pottz's profile


22307 posts in 2319 days

#5 posted 11-17-2021 10:29 PM

the beauty of that bench should inspire the artist.nice work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View jdrouin's profile


15 posts in 715 days

#6 posted 11-17-2021 10:47 PM

Lovely bench with a lot of fine details, thanks for sharing. Would love to see the film but it seems to be not acessible

- kaerlighedsbamsen

Thank you! I fixed the link, which should be working now.

View swirt's profile


7101 posts in 4306 days

#7 posted 11-19-2021 02:14 AM

There are so many nice features on that. Delicate looking, yet I am sure quite strong. Looks a bit like a fancy moravian workbench.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mafe's profile


13681 posts in 4424 days

#8 posted 11-19-2021 10:38 AM

I can feel all the love that went into making this bench, always a joy to see work done with that mindset.
Really fine work.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View balidoug's profile


535 posts in 3813 days

#9 posted 11-19-2021 01:31 PM

truly excellent work. great craftsmanship and a wonderful piece. Thanks, too, for the detailed notes.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

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