Alex Florov: Smooth Leaping Fish with Masur Birch
Alex Florov puts a lot of time into complex designs like this "Leaping Fish"/Cavalier, doing much of his shaping not with a sanding disk, but by hand-carving them with precision chisels. It's in a piece like this where his background as a model-maker for the industrial design industry (and before that, making precise 1/48th-scale model aircraft in his youth, which in turn landed him a career restoring expensive antique furniture) really comes forward, producing a combination of precision, complexity, style, and flow that set his work apart. As noted earlier, this is not only a beautifully artistic, sculptural sitter, but a functioning Cavalier as well, the masur birch "foot," which the design perches upon doubling as the moisture-well's end-cap. Of course, some of you may be looking at the stem, scratching your heads, and wondering how there's any room inside the leaping shank for a tenon - well, there isn't. Which is why Alex created a reverse-tenon, with reinforcing brass collar, leading out
of the shank instead; a neat little engineering trick that allowed him to get away with this grand, creative flourish of a design without having to compromise its flow and form.
- Eric N. Squires