Specialty Products

A Mirror Image from Last Year

I.A. Keer — The Art of Furniture wins a second straight award with the Cleo portrait mirror.


Last year, I. A. Keer won the Specialty Products category with a pair of portrait mirrors, Tux and Zoot. This year, he adds Cleo to his list of Design Portfolio Award winners.

“Cleo: a Portrait Mirror� is a limited-edition mirror designed by The Art of Furniture, Minneapolis, MN. The mirror reflects Keer’s long-time fascination with Egypt.

“Recently, I discovered a unique reconstructed striped veneer sheet (Wildwood Stripe by Ventec),� says Keer. “It reminded me of the royal headdresses of ancient Egypt, and I sought to create a special mirror using this striking veneer, which would reflect my ongoing interest in history.

“My work recalls recognizable themes, then reflects them back,� he adds. “The portrait mirror Cleo reinterprets, in a contemporary way, a notable character and costumes of times long ago.�

In addition to the Ventec veneer, each mirror is built with solid maple and purpleheart, reconstructed maple pommele veneer from Brookside, and Baltic Birch multi-ply substrate. Other materials include solid brass and rubber buttons, natural bone and wood beads and silk tassels.

Keer does the design and prototyping of all his pieces, and the final production work is performed by select Minnesota craftsmen, in this case Don Berger of Pine City. After being cut to shape, edge-profiled, rough-sanded and loosely assembled by Berger, Keer disassembles the mirror and completes the production work. “Each piece is carefully hand-sanded, finished with hand-rubbed lacquer, then fitted into a jigsaw puzzle-like composition and reassembled with recessed screws from the back,� he explains. Each mirror was hand-crafted from just seven pieces.

The mirror is made in a limited-edition series of 50, each of which are signed and numbered by the artist and include a certificate of authenticity. For more information about Cleo or Keer and his work, visit www.artoffurniture.com.

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