Phillip Lloyd Powell, Unique Carved Desk, USA, c. 1965
This organic executive desk, a custom commission for a private collector, is one of the best examples of Powell’s affinity for natural wood and his mastery in creating unique works that highlight wood’s inconsistencies rather than masking them. The substantial live-edge figured walnut desk top features four ebony butterflies and an subtle yet elegant crest, also live-edge. A small pencil drawer sits between two pedestal cabinets. The two-door compartment on the left hand side conceals four adjustable shelves, while the right hand side cabinet opens to reveal two drawers and a large file drawer. Each of the three doors is an exquisite collage of live-edge walnut planks that have been chip-carved by hand to further draw out the rhythm of the wood’s grain. Each are held together with hand-hammered iron round head nails.
This exceptional unique desk has all of the hallmarks of the American craft resurgence of the mid-1960s which Powell was instrumental in invigorating – small studio production, a disavowal of prefabrication, and reverence for materials.
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