We’ve been so fortunate these past few weeks to have two amazing photographers with us at the shop. The first, Mannie Garcia (manniegarcia.com), is an award-winning photo journalist who has covered the White House, Congress, international conflicts, historical events (Hurricane Katrina, the fall of the Berlin Wall), and more.

Mannie has traveled the globe on assignments, and somehow we were lucky enough to have him land in little old Dow, Illinois, where he hung out with Dave Stine for several weeks capturing the making of the spectacular Wild West Walnut Desk for the Western Design Conference in Jackson Hole, WY.

The other great photographer we’ve been working with recently is Mark Katzman (markkatzman.com). Mark is an extraordinary, award-winning commercial photographer based here in St. Louis. He has worked for Saatchi & Saatchi, the New York Times, Nestle Purina, Rolling Stone, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and many others. (He shot the amazing work inside Peacemaker Lobster and Crab Co. here in STL,) He’s been taking some great shots of Dave Stine in and out of the shop, as well as some amazing studio shots of new work.

Here’s the desk, as photographed by Mark Katzman:

16. Walnut Desk final

Photo courtesy of Mark Katzman.

And here’s how it was made, as captured by Mannie Garcia:

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 25, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 25, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 25, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 25, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 25, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 25, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 27, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 27, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 26, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 26, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 27, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 27, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 27, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 27, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 28, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 28, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 28, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 28, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

David Stine, wood worker, in his shop on his farm in Dow, IL., August 31, 2015. ©Mannie Garcia 2015

 

And the finished product:

Wild West Desk

Photo courtesy of Mark Katzman.

Now, a little narrative on this desk, from Dave Stine himself:

“Most people would have thrown this piece of walnut right off their sawmill. It was full of bullets and barbed wire. But I saw the spirit of the West in its ornery, untamed character. Someone had tried to bend this tree to his will to use as a fencepost and a target, but the tree wouldn’t have it. It just kept growing far beyond any attempt to tame it. That reminded me of the West itself—wild, untamed, self-reliant. For this show, I immediately thought about this defiant, gorgeous walnut. I left the barbed wire and the bullets right where I found them, and designed a powerful base of hand-forged iron to accent the spectacular top. This piece encouraged me to continue to see beauty where others see flaws. As I progress in my artistic career I strive to let the wood speak for itself; this desk exemplifies that ethos.”

Well said, Dave Stine. And a HUGE thanks to Mannie and Mark for their extraordinary photos.