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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.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Wood carving Custom Made | Wood carving on Barley Twist furniture legs | Classic BARLEY TWIST legs decorated with woodcarving and ornaments

The application of wood carving on Barley Twist furniture legs

Patrick Damiaens
Ornamental Woodcarver

Classic Barley Twist legs
decorated with Ornaments

Application of a flower and leaf motif on Barley Twist turned legs.

The twisted shape of table or chair legs are characteristic of the French Louis XIII style.
In this context the word “twisted” or “torsion” refers to the spiral shaped twists that are applied to wood, which make it seem as if the timber is distorted, slightly resembling a thick rope. It is possible to apply intricate wood carving on the larger examples of twisted furniture legs, usually in the hollow part of the twist.
The French Louis XIII style is a relatively unknown furniture trend, and one rarely runs into furniture from this era (1610-1650) at the local antique dealer. Instead these type of antiques are often found in French museums. In general, the Louis XIII type furniture may be considered as a transition style between the late Renaissance and Baroque.
Nevertheless, in a relatively short period of only 4 decades (1610-1650), this early 17th century furniture style underwent several significant changes.
The cabinet was introduced. At the time this type of furniture was specifically designed to flaunt the wealth and importance of its owners. The many drawers and secret storage spaces in the interior of the cabinet were meant to display, store or sometimes hide exotic objects from various remote parts of the world, entirely for the purpose of social positioning.

Precious woods, like for instance ebony, were sawn in thin slices of approximately 4 mm in thickness, and were subsequently glued to the massive wooden frame of the furniture piece. The plate material we know today was not developed until several centuries later. Interestingly, at the guild of master carpenters a new specialty was introduced, namely the “Menuisiers en ébéne”, or ebony carpenters, who later on were simply referred to as ébénistes. This is a name we use until this day (an ébénist is a joiner or cabinet-maker).

The most recognizable feature of the Louis XIII style is undoubtedly the twisted shape of the furniture legs. In this particular period the demand for qualified wood turners was high, as the use of twisted furniture legs was extremely fashionable; a “fad” which probably originated in Spain or Portugal.
This “twisted pattern” was also adopted in architecture, for instance on stone columns. Today it is still possible to admire the exquisite craftsmanship of these stone cutters.
Presented below are the various stages of carving a decorative ornament on twisted wood turning.

The application of wood carving on Barley Twist turned legs

Twisted furniture legs

The application of the drawing on the twisted legs

shaping the ornaments

a more detailed drawing is created

the proper cutting of the flower and leaf motive

Patrick Damiaens, Classic BARLEY TWIST legs decorated with woodcarving and ornaments

finishing the leaf and flower motif



Friday, 13 December 2013

MASTERS OF LUXURY 2013 | World's Leading Luxury event in Amsterdam | The Millionaire Fair

Masters of Luxury
World's Leading Luxury Event

A few months ago, I was contacted by the organizing committee of Masters of Luxury in Amsterdam (previously known as the Millionaire Fair). They inquired if I was interested in participating in this illustrious event. 

I told them that, while I do give demonstrations on a regular basis, when it comes to fairs and other events, I mostly participate as a member of “Pearls of Craftsmanship”.

I introduced them to “Pearls of Craftsmanship”, a “Quality Label” for craftsmanship of the highest standard and explained how this group of passionate craftsmen shared their trades and techniques in the form of demonstrations during cultural and commercial events.

 “Pearls of Craftsmanship” is best compared to the interesting articles in a glossy magazine; it’s namely these articles that make the magazine interesting.” Inadvertently, I had made an educational as well as an instructive remark. 

In the meantime, I paid a little visit to the website of Masters of LXRY and made it clear to them that, although I saw a lot of luxury, the term “Masters”, for me personally, didn’t really apply to what I saw. I explained to them that high standard craftsmen, the actual manufacturers of the “luxury”, are all too often left out of the limelight and undeservedly so.

The organizing committee of Masters of LXRY was open to the idea of having craftsmen present and approximately two months later, I was contacted again with the joyful news that they had decided to invite our “Quality Label” to their event. 7 of our members were selected to demonstrate their trade on “The Market” of Masters of LXRY. Unfortunately, in a later stage, we had to decline their generous offer, seeing as we just couldn’t agree with their plans and ideas.

The problem we were facing was comparable to that of a master chef of a 3 star restaurant who is allowed to show how he cuts the vegetables, but who isn’t allowed to show/have people taste the end result; a wonderful opportunity gone begging for our Quality Label and an unfortunate development for the visitors of Masters of Luxury as well. I’m certain that we would have been a great addition to this event.

…but the story doesn’t stop there.

A few weeks ago I had a chance encounter with a top company from Amsterdam. And believe it or not, this company turned out to be one of the participants of Masters of LXRY. The manager had visited my website a few times before in the past and he was pleasantly surprised by the quality of my work. He informed me of the fact that he was going to be present at the event and let me know that he would be delighted to show some of my work to the visitors of Masters of Luxury. This offer was impossible to refuse. It just goes to show, it is a small world indeed.
Below you can find a small impression of his stand.

This exclusive fair takes place in the RAI in Amsterdam 
between 12 and 16 December 2013.