When I begin the design process there are many variables at play. The thought process is usually figuring out a way to capture and express artistically what is going on in my life/mind. Will it be abstract or known? Will it be functional or sculpture?
For this piece I knew I wanted a striking, powerful object that would provide as much 3 dimensional qualities as possible. My best design ideas come while driving. I can't explain why but it's a good time for my brain to sort through the database.
This piece is about letting go/moving on/inviting the new. INDIVISIBLE, to stand strong. The pineapple was representative of someone in my life.
In 1493, Christopher Columbus returned with the pineapple introducing it to Europe, a very rare and royal fruit. So held true here in America as the hard to acquire fruit was a sign of status. The pineapple became symbolic of welcome, warmth, good cheer and family.
Making the piece:
I used 2 inch thick Honduran mahogany with beautiful rich grain. Most of the classic carvings use Honduran mahogany because of it's beauty , workability and luster when finished. Honduran mahogany is getting more and more difficult to find. This particular piece of wood certainly wasn't the easiest to carve as it had interlocking grain in various spots.
Interlocking grain is where the grain gets twisted so if you try to carve with the grain it is rough and often will lead to tear out of the wood grain. In this case it's better to carve across the grain if you can.
I did the majority of this carving outdoors around Philadelphia, using only hand tools. It is far superior to carve in detail in natural light than indoors.
I started by clearing out the background to set the depth of the carving. Using 2 inch thick wood allowed for a ton of depth.
I did not spend too much time on the layout of the fruit part of the piece, as I felt that the feel should mimic the fruit growing how it may. I did however put a ton of time into the detail of each hexagon type shape on the fruit section. I tried to go as deep as my gouge would allow me to define the piece without cracking the wood.
I finished the cabinet in various shades of green and one shade of black to create a slight rustic feel.
I completed the piece by adding a hand shaped rosewood door pull.