Iris has a new friend Part 2-gluing

We last left you with the beginnings of a sculpture of our dog, Iris’, head.  We shared the process of sketching an idea, deciding on a wood type and tracing the pattern onto the wood.

The next step is the gluing and roughing out the actual shape of the bust.  To begin with Martin cut out the profile on 4 pieces of wood using the paper template from the originial sketch.

Mahogany pieces glued together with rough cut of profile Martin Pierce Hardware

Mahogany pieces glued together with rough cut of profile
Martin Pierce Hardware

For this he used a bandsaw which, as any hobbyist will know, is a saw that uses a band of metal teeth to cut through the wood.  The “bands” vary with each machine and they also vary in terms of how course or fine the cut line needs to be.  For this bust we used a medium band that was 155″ long, 3/4″ wide and with 4 “teeth per inch.

Martin Pierce hardware

Martin Pierce hardware

We jointed the sections of wood with a polyurethane glue made in the Netherlands by Rectavit and sold in the United States as Structan.  We have used this glue for many years now as it is not as brittle as typical wood glue.  Since it is somewhat pliant it allows slight movement in the wood to take place.  Other glues may form a tough and brittle bond so that any movement in the wood can result in splitting or cracking.  You may be asking why wood moves.  The answer is that wood is actually a living thing and will expand with moisture and high humidity and contract with heat or very low humidity.

Martin Pierce Hardware

Martin Pierce Hardware

In this next photo you can see the rough sculpture all glued together.  Notice the paper template next to it which was used in the creation of this sculpture.

martin pierce iris bust with paper template next to it

We are getting closer to sharing the final sculpture with you and we are sure you will be as delighted as we are with the beauty of the wood and the fine detail of Iris’ impressive profile.  Iris still thinks it is a new friend and wags her tail when she sees it.

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware or to discuss custom pieces for your next hospitality project, 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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