Oran Mor Bar

Penwork on wood April 2009


The Oran Mor Bar is done in a technique called Penwork.  Penwork is a drawing technique that has been done for centuries in Europe and Asia to emulate inlaid ivory.  After consulting with the owners we decided this was just the thing for the bar top.   This project did not however have the luxury of deliberation as the restaurant opening was looming and the concept I proposed was monumental.  Nothing new there since I do like a challenge.  I began by dividing the space according to the number of seats the bar can accommodate.  I did a rough sketch and went right to it.  Every day I would draw until I couldn’t see and then go back to the studio to design the next day’s work.  I had calculated on when I needed to finish so I could get enough protective coats over the work before they opened.  My cut off was Tuesday 5 p.m.  On the Friday before, I decided I needed another design element…writing.  So began my search.  It all started with a drinking poem on an 18century creamware jug.  After a little artistic liecence it read front and center on the bar. Then on to a little Yeats, Mary Starbuck and I was on my way.  The quotes from Nantucket Girls Song is the one that always makes people laugh out loud.  You’ll have to visit Oran Mor on Nantucket for the full effect!  Tell the bartender you read about it here and maybe they’ll give you a free drink.

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