Iris has a new friend-Part 1

We recently shared a post about a dog sculpture we made as a birthday gift for a dear friend of ours that represented her amazing three legged dog.  At the same time we mentioned that we had been contemplating doing a bust of our beloved Iris for our own enjoyment.  Well, one thought led to another and the design process began:

As with all of our custom hardware pieces, the design process begins with a drawing. Unlike her predecessor, Brie, Iris is not want to sit still and pose so Martin was able to create a video and, along with the photographs, he was able to capture her sweet nature in his detailed drawing of Iris’ impressive head.

Martin Pierce Hardware

Martin Pierce Hardware.

This was done on tracing paper which allowed Martin to roughly mark up the outline on each of the 4 pieces of walnut that would become the main section of her head.

Martin Pierce Hardware

Martin Pierce Hardware

The other decision we had to make was what type of wood would best suit this sculpture. We decided on walnut as we found a nice board.  We cut it up and essentially created a rough block with 4 major joints and 2 very small additional joints for the ears. The ears were made from one block of wood cut in half so basically 5 pieces of walnut. The walnut was 8/4 walnut or 2″ thick.  As many of our readers know, raw wood used in furniture is bought and measured by the board foot and the thickness of wood is expressed as a fraction e.g. 6/4 being 1 ½”.  The board thickness is calculated by the width and length of board e.g. 8/4 x1’ x 8’ = 16  board feet.  If the thickness was 4/4 (i.e. 1”)  the calculation would be 4/4 x 1’ x 8’ = 8 bd ft.  Welcome back to algebra class!

We have been referring to this piece as “Iris’ brother”, in part because the sculpture is a tad larger than life size.  Oddly enough, Iris seems to recognize it as a dog’s head as she wags her tail and sniffs it every time she walks by.

Join us for part 2 of the story of Iris’ bust to see how five blocks of wood become a life-like version of our dog’s head.

To discuss your own custom piece or to view our entire collection of custom architectural hardware, please visit our site at






About martinpierceblog

Martin and Anne Pierce live in Los Angeles California with their beloved rescue dog, Iris. Martin's custom designs reflect his love of nature and include beautiful vine and fern drawer pulls, a realistic yet whimsical collection of bugs and other critters on door hardware and charming floral designs on everything from door levers to bathroom accessories. He also enjoys creating sculptural contemporary pieces that are easy to access for those with limited physical capabilities. All of Martin's designs are hand carved and cast in their Los Angeles studio where there is truly something for everyone. Please contact us with any questions or custom queries
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