Welcome to my Blog
This is a place where the visitors are confronted with their search for a personal touch and where they have an opportunity to get acquainted with a skilled expert, who has turned durability and tradition into a personal passion.
I hope this will become a valued and rich source of inspiration and knowledge. Please Leave comments and enjoy your visit.

Monday, 23 September 2013

17th Century Style Wood carving | Acanthus leaf design carved in walnut | North German Baroque | Baroque Cabinet from DANZIG

17th Century Style Woodcarving

Woodcarving inspired by the style of the 17th century

 Acanthus leaf design carved in walnut

In this modest project I will introduce you to the method and technique for carving an acanthus leaf design for the 4 corners of the supporting or constructive part of a Danzig baroque cabinet. 

During the baroque a piece of furniture had to look luxuriant and rich in detail. With its robust yet elegant curls, the acanthus leaf is extremely suitable to radiate that luxuriant and rich feel, which makes it a design that is characteristic for this period.
Often they would use various types of wood as well as a variety of decorative techniques such as inlay, sculpting, gold leaf, etc. 
These techniques were used on one and the same piece of furniture to create that overwhelming sensation of richness. But the personality of a piece of furniture mainly came from the baroque woodcarving.

The symmetrical and crossed acanthus leaf design still tends to be the eye-catcher; a simple yet effective solution for limited space on the piece of furniture.
In its most basic form, a panel consists of a frame, a constructive part and the filling. An architectural frame is inlayed into the constructive part, to create a luxuriant effect and to add depth to the piece, which is another typical characteristic of the baroque period. 
The panel is completed with the inlay of a symmetrical composition executed in walnut, rosewood and coromandel wood.

The concerning panel is destined for a so called Danzig baroque cabinet or “Danziger”. 
A Danzig baroque cabinet is a typically regional 17th century piece of furniture, which (as you can tell by its name) originated from the region in and around the north German city of Danzig (currently the Polish Gdansk). 

17th Century Style Woodcarving , Acanthus leaf design

The 17th century is an era that is marked by a great number of changes that took place throughout Europe: exploratory expeditions, rediscovery of Greek and Roman art and science. 
The architecture of these two peoples came back into fashion, giving rise to a new style: baroque. Baroque stretches from the middle of the 17th century to the first half of the 18th century. Baroque wasn’t just limited to architecture alone. 
Quite the contrary! Sculpture, furniture, ornamentation and music were all influenced as well.

Early baroque found its origin in Italy, more specifically in Rome, and slowly started to fan out to northern Europe. It’s interesting to see that the style developed differently in different areas, according to the temperament of the inhabitants of a certain region, and due to the influences of artists and tradesmen.

These differences in style are specifically noticeable in the ornamentation.
A distinction is made between early, high and late baroque. Late baroque is also known as rococo. 
Early baroque still inclined towards the renaissance, whereas late baroque overindulged in luxuriance, with much pomp and circumstance.
Over time many rulers discovered the effects of the dramatic baroque style; we see it used by the Vatican during the Counter Reformation. By putting the emphasis on splendor and magnificence in the architectural style of churches, the Roman Catholic Church was trying to impress people and lure them back to church.  

This, however, caused a breach within the Roman Catholic Church: Protestantism was born, leading to austerity in protestant countries.
One of the developments of the baroque period is that pieces of furniture display less and less architectural characteristics. They no longer resemble miniaturized constructions; there’s a tendency to use more exotic types of wood, rather than local types of wood; and other materials are applied, such as brass, tin and tortoise.
The use of exotic wood (ebony, palisander, acajou) coincides with the expeditions made to East and West India.

The fact that people at this time are more self-assured and start acting as individuals, who tend to make their own choices (notably among artists and tradesmen), leads to a decline in the use of traditional materials and to the creation of completely new furniture. 
The upper class, that is growing ever richer, wants to flaunt its wealth. The result of this is that we now have an amazing collection of furniture from this period in our patrimony.

The carving of a stylized
acanthus leaf design in walnut

Acanthus leaf design carved in walnut

Baroque Cabinet from DANZIG


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

German Lifestyle Magazine SCHLOSSALLEE | Belgian Woodcarver Patrick Damiaens

Schlossallee Magazine

A great honor, the editorial team of the German Lifestyle Magazine 'Schlossallee' has published an extensive feature about my daily work as a ornamental woodcarver.
This interview feature appeared in the August-September  edition of 'Schlossallee Magazin' 2013.

Wish you pleasant reading.
Patrick Damiaens

Schlossallee, (Castle Lane) Magazine

Schlossallee (Castle Lane) is a stylish German Lifestyle Magazine with original design. The bimonthly magazine is focused on a selected audience.
Features that keep coming back and  become very popular are the financial and business in general, fashion in all its aspects, ample attention to culture, interior, architecture and garden, one or more interviews with personalities or politicians. Body & Beauty, extensive sports contribute, film, gastronomy, tourism and travel, car news etc. ..
Schlossallee presents the best products, reports on the latest events and portrays exceptional or extravagant personalities.

 WEBSITE Schlossallee


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

JEAN DÉMONTREUIL | French woodcarver | 18th century style wood carving | Aubert Parent Style of Carving

The Historisches Musem in Basel

Jean Démontreuil

I would like to offer you the opportunity to get acquainted with the work of Jean Démontreuil, a French woodcarver who practised his trade in the same period as his compatriot Aubert-Henri-Joseph Parent.  (18th century style of carving)
Both woodcarvers had something in common, that is to say both of them were specialized in very subtle carving and both men shared a passion for birds.

We’ve already discussed Aubert Parent in my Dutch Woodcarving blog (Ornamentsnijder), referring to 5 magnificent pieces of his, which are on display at the “Historisches Museum” in Basel. 
This Museum is also in the possession of two pieces of Jean Démontreuil, who has remained a fairly unrecognized woodcarver, but undeservedly so. 

That is why I want to take this opportunity to show you some of his sublime work. The full-scale carving was presumably executed in limewood and represents a dead bird, “Le Serin” (European canary) and “L'hirondelle” (swallow) both dated and signed 1796. The two small panels in the Historisches Museum basel are two different bequests/legacies from families from Basel and became this way a part of the regular collection.

It is only known that Daniel Burckhardt-Wildt, a rich and well known art collector from Basel bought the carving "serin mort" from a Mr. Dienast, who just came from Paris, on April 20th 1796. So the work came to Basel the same year it was carved.

Jean Démontreuil
Jean Démontreuil, a.k.a. Montreuil , born in Bordeaux, France. “Professeur à l'Académie de Bordeaux”. He exhibited his work at the “Salon de Paris” from 1791 till 1798 and must certainly have been familiar with the work of Aubert Parent, who also had various exhibits in Paris (1779 -1783). At the Louvre, it’s also possible to admire one of Démontreuil’s pieces.

On 27 June 2008, a piece of Jean Démontreuil was offered to auction house Delvaux in Paris. The object was described as finely carved and was dated and signed 1791.  

Jean Démontreuil, Swallow Carved in 1796

Jean Démontreuil, 'Le Serin Mort' (European canary)

The Historisches Museum Basel,