Jeffrey Got A Bite - A Caricature Wood Sculpture Article


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Artisans of the Valley
Feature Article - Caricature hand carving of a fisherman.

Artisans of the Valley, based in Pennington, NJ, is an exclusive custom furniture, cabinetry, carving, and restoration shop. These craftsmen are the last of the traditional apprenticeship method of passing on the skills of furniture design, joynery, carving, and finishing. We offer our custom furniture by commission, and we hand sign and date each piece upon completion.

For over 35 years Master Craftsman Stanley D. Saperstein has perfected his skills and in the process passed these skills to his son Eric. Eric has now taken the reins of the business, studio, and the title of Master Craftsman.

Artisans offers heirloom quality hand rubbed shellac and tung oil finishes as well as hand painted options on any of our pieces. In addition, modern finishes are available through our affiliates including the full spectrum of lacquers, acrylics, and urethanes.

Artisans of the Valley is the last of the true conservation studios in New Jersey, providing museum quality restorations, refinishing, repair, and preservation services. Artisans will evaluate your antiques and collectables to determine the best options for your cherished possessions. Artisans is one of the few remaining restoration studios that can handle restoring a true shellac finish and provide the skills necessary to replace or restore damaged ball and claw feet, detailed carvings, and veneer.

Bent on educating our clients, Artisans offers a tactical theory on restoration entitled “The Philosophy of Restoration.” This article outlines the concepts associated with restoration, and helps dispense the myth surrounding antiques and their care. Artisans restoration services are not limited to furniture; we handles military artifacts such as firearms, swords, and leather goods. We are the only conservation studio restoring antique and collectable chess sets; bragging rights include several the famous Jaques of London first 300 Staunton series sets.

Artisans provides services for commissions, restoration, carving, and design to residential & commercial clients, design firms, and architects. Please contact us to discuss the specifics of your project.

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Jeffrey Got A Bite - A Caricature Wood Sculpture Article

  1. 1. “ J e f f r e y G o t a b i t e ! ” This unique folk art figure by Stanley D. Saperstein was commissioned by Steve as a gift for Jeffrey’s birthday. Stan decided to twist the perspective slightly when he conjured up this caricature. Every now and again a sign may just have something to say, and sometimes the fish actually do bite. So the story goes that Jeffrey & his friend Steve travel the globe seeking the ultimate fishing adventures. Steve decided to find a unique gift for his fishing buddy that reflected a unique, charismatic, highly expressive, and at times a bit over the top personality. Steve also mentioned Jeffrey’s tendency to find boundaries as more of a suggestion than a rule; illustrated in the “No Fishing” photo! Jeffrey’s fishing prowess is obvious from the exuberant display of just two of his catches. The objective was to capture the personality and a physical likeness of an individual, which is never an easy task. Carving an ambiguous character, derived from Figure Photos by Henry Schweber one’s own imagination without any basis for comparison is generally much less daunting.
  2. 2. “ J e f f r e y G o t a b i t e ! ” Stanley starts with modeling clay, forming the basic shapes and facial features in a forgiving and malleable medium before taking it on in wood. This process serves to save significant time and effort, especially when the carving is a commission and requires client approval. The basswood carving is realistic, but allows the tool marks and carving signatures to show through. Using basswood, poplar, boxwood, or other soft materials is always a good choice for projects of this nature. The end result is painted, and the detail shows through in full color, making the use of any hardwood a waste of effort. Projects that make us laugh and offer a never ending source of humor to our clients are always great commissions! You can visit our website at, our Woodcarving & Sculpture section features an array of figures, wildlife, scenes, and furniture carvings. Figure Photos by Henry Schweber Article By Eric M. Saperstein, Artisans of the Valley Carving by Stanley D. Saperstein 103 Corrine Drive Pennington, NJ 08534 609-637-0450 website: