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Lady called and wanted a sign for her husband's hunting camp. It would probably be outside, or at least inside where temps would flucuate since it's only used part time. She approved the design. So i got a nice piece of cedar, glued it up and commenced to cutting. Applied spar urathane to the natural wood. And wow, hunting camp decor. She thought it should all be same shade. Explained to her the way wood is and each piece is different. She still may take it, but definitely isn't happy. Darn uppity up high class suburbanites. Bet the old man loves it.
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John, from an artisan's point of view, I can see her concerns.
the different colored wood is not suitable for the subject.
the heads of the deer get lost in all the trees in the background. (that area is just too busy).
the two deer bodies get lost in the light colored stripe (totally lost). and the legs have the same issue.
plus - the bodies of the deer has so much detail that they look starved and their bones are showing.
so I fully understand her feelings. (plus, if she was a college major in art, interior decorating, or design is a killer).
BUT - from the man's point of view - it is drop dead gorgeous !!!

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in any wood sign (or project), graphics placement and colors of the background should be a priority.
everything should be well balanced or it will not please the eyes.
in your case, I have had the exact same reaction two times early in my career.
since then, I have learned that 99% of the public knows more about art than I do.
there is more to just putting a piece of wood through a CNC or carving by hand and expect satisfactory results.
you must look beyond the computer screen and into the wood that you are getting ready to process.
I know this is a bit harsh - but this is part of the learning curve.
What I would suggest: find some better wood with consistent grain pattern and colors and make another one.
I would not use cedar as it is just too "flaky". just for your own practice of selecting the right materials for the job.
looking forward to seeing your next projects.

Edit: I forgot to address one thing:
She thought it should all be same shade. Explained to her the way wood is and each piece is different.
wrong response: it is your responsibility to ensure the right materials, grain, color, and everything is correct for a project. you don't just glue some wood together and call it good.
you must use your sight to imagine the end result. (you can't get that on a computer screen).
I would strongly suggest making another one with different materials just for your own benefit. (not for the lady - that ship has sailed).
 

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What I would suggest: find some better wood with consistent grain pattern and colors and make another one.
I would not use cedar as it is just too "flaky"
I would have to disagree on using cedar. While it can hold a lot of color variations, that color can also enhance the carve. Unfortunately for John, the color came out in the wrong spots (according to his customer). Maybe take a little more time when gluing up to better match color variations would be a suggestion. Plenty good for a hunting shack!
Here is a couple of my work using cedar and a natural finish.
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I'd recut it in some other, lighter wood and let her trade if she likes it better. Unhappy customers never come back and send potential customers away. Think about how many times you've read about Bosch and other makers who immediately set things right for our members. You'll never hear her complaint, but she will be out there saying bad things about your work. That' can't be a good thing.
 

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very nice signs, Dave !!
did you randomly glue some boards together or did you carefully analyze each one for the best match in grain patterns and color differences ?
or - did you just get lucky and all the boards were the same.
again, excellent work !
 

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Dave - I think I was trying to point out that all cedar boards are not the same in different parts of the country.
there is quite a difference in what you used and what John used.
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I'd recut it in some other, lighter wood and let her trade if she likes it better. Unhappy customers never come back and send potential customers away. Think about how many times you've read about Bosch and other makers who immediately set things right for our members. You'll never hear her complaint, but she will be out there saying bad things about your work. That' can't be a good thing.
Lesson learned... little things we learn trying to run a business... I built a set of cabinets and an island for a couple. Several tries on the cabinet and got payed 90%. She wouldn't approve the island I built because I used hollow legs. I and the contractor walked away without the $1000...
 

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Dave - I think I was trying to point out that all cedar boards are not the same in different parts of the country.
there is quite a difference in what you used and what John used.
Thanks John. I do take time in selecting and laying out my material for glue ups. It can be quite a challenge to find quality material when shopping at the big box stores. I usually tear the whole stack apart to get what I need. Though I believe that both HJ and I got our material from the big Orange store, there can definitely be different suppliers. HJ knows how anal I can be about my results. That's why I will never make a living doing this...
 

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Lady called and wanted a sign for her husband's hunting camp. It would probably be outside, or at least inside where temps would flucuate since it's only used part time. She approved the design. So i got a nice piece of cedar, glued it up and commenced to cutting. Applied spar urathane to the natural wood. And wow, hunting camp decor. She thought it should all be same shade. Explained to her the way wood is and each piece is different. She still may take it, but definitely isn't happy. Darn uppity up high class suburbanites. Bet the old man loves it. View attachment 397609
Looks great, be thankful you are not married to her.
mike
 

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H. John - I am a retired sign maker and my worst customers were women that had backgrounds in art, interior decorating, or some kind college art major degree.
my most costly loss was hours and hours designing and painting a sign for a new business, color samples were provided by the client. upon delivery, she did not like the "teal" color. I had to take the sign into her business and prop it up to her CURTAINS and there was a slight color difference. I took it back and repainted that part. delivered it again, and something else didn't match the "off ivory white" . . . .I cheerfully refunded her deposit and never spoke to her again.
(yes, there was a very detailed contract) - word did filter back to me that I did not know my nose from my back pocket.
but those that knew me - could care less. - - - - I just bite my tongue to stay civil.
if you are going to be in business, or make things to sell for profit, you must be prepared to deal with ALL kinds of people. not just the nice ones. what I learned from that fiasco was to do a little research on the client before signing the contract.
keep up the good work !!!
(and take all criticisms, good and bad, to heart to produce the best projects that you can).
John

Edit: an afterthought is that I didn't mean to single out the female persuasion as difficult customers. some of the men also have their issues: architects, engineers, designers, astrophysicists, all rocket scientists, and anyone that has a severe case of OCD.
and for some reason, men in the legal realm are particularly difficult to please.
I apologize for the oversight.
 

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John, from an artisan's point of view, I can see her concerns.
the different colored wood is not suitable for the subject.
the heads of the deer get lost in all the trees in the background. (that area is just too busy).
the two deer bodies get lost in the light colored stripe (totally lost). and the legs have the same issue.
plus - the bodies of the deer has so much detail that they look starved and their bones are showing.
so I fully understand her feelings. (plus, if she was a college major in art, interior decorating, or design is a killer).
BUT - from the man's point of view - it is drop dead gorgeous !!!

View attachment 397626

in any wood sign (or project), graphics placement and colors of the background should be a priority.
everything should be well balanced or it will not please the eyes.
in your case, I have had the exact same reaction two times early in my career.
since then, I have learned that 99% of the public knows more about art than I do.
there is more to just putting a piece of wood through a CNC or carving by hand and expect satisfactory results.
you must look beyond the computer screen and into the wood that you are getting ready to process.
I know this is a bit harsh - but this is part of the learning curve.
What I would suggest: find some better wood with consistent grain pattern and colors and make another one.
I would not use cedar as it is just too "flaky". just for your own practice of selecting the right materials for the job.
looking forward to seeing your next projects.

Edit: I forgot to address one thing:
She thought it should all be same shade. Explained to her the way wood is and each piece is different.
wrong response: it is your responsibility to ensure the right materials, grain, color, and everything is correct for a project. you don't just glue some wood together and call it good.
you must use your sight to imagine the end result. (you can't get that on a computer screen).
I would strongly suggest making another one with different materials just for your own benefit. (not for the lady - that ship has sailed).
I agree ,the heads get lost because of the darker shade . Still a nice piece ,but it wood bother me to
 
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