You Have an Awesome Place

Now for that Awesome Finishing Touch

This design aspires to convey the age-old patience of the hunter and the elusiveness of the seal. A man kneels near his kayak on a barren ice flow, patiently watching the water through a well-worn breathing hole.

Commission Art for Your Home, Business, or a Public Place

Creating Custom Focal Point Art Since 1981

There can be real satisfaction in finding a piece of art you resonate with and adding it to your art collections.

When you commission an artwork, this can be enhanced even further, as the artist can personalize the final piece of art to integrate with your specific setting and your intention for it.

Whether you want to commission original art for yourself or your business, as a work of public art, or a gift idea, this page will give you a sense of what’s involved and the types of custom art I can make for you.

I can work with you directly, or with any interior designers you have chosen, to create a final piece or pieces that become a joy for you to live around.

Honoring Your Vision
Creative Synergy

Integrating your vision and dreams with my experience and artistic sensibility to realize something neither of us might have imagined on our own.

Cohesive Approach

Bespoke artwork that compliments the surrounding architecture and feels like it’s always belonged.

Heirloom Quality

Pieces of art you can treasure, not only for their beauty but for what they evolve to represent in your home or business.

Fishing bear and raven in an Appalachian rhododendron thicket.
Attention to Detail

Going the extra mile, from integrating the artwork into your setting, to the subtleties of every curve.

Brand Enrichment

Setting your brand apart from the competition with a piece of art that reflects the unique experience you offer your clients.

Enjoy the Process

Giving you an insider look into my art studio so you can follow along with the process of creation as your artwork take shape.

Free Consultation

Share your vision and ideas, and brainstorm with me about the possibilities for your space.

  • Is there a particular area for which you haven't found the perfect decoration?
  • Have you gotten a little too used to that piece of art you've been using as a temporary filler?
  • Has your search for just the right art to express the character of your home or office been in vain?
  • Or did you ever find original art you did like, but then it wasn't the right size?
  • It's not always easy to find the artwork you love, that truly compliments a particular setting.

Whether you are just getting started commissioning art, or you are experienced with the commission process, there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind.

Not only is it important to be attracted to an artists art style and the work in their artist portfolio, you also want to be sure they have a successful history with commissioned artwork.

This list of my past commission pieces will give you a sampling of the art collections in which my work can be found.

I’ve been making both decorative and functional sculpture and wall art for over 36 years. From my first copper repoussé heat shield to my latest Percent for Arts Commission, I’ve got over 90 commissions under my belt. 

As these testimonials from others who have commissioned original art from me confirm, I’m confident you will feel honored to add my work to your art collection and pass the works of art I create for you along to future generations.

Here are a few examples of what my clients have to say about their custom art commissions.

At the Breathing Hole

We commissioned Jeff Dean and Creative Fires studio to create a sculpture for our entryway. Jeff sat down and discussed the possibilities with us. We decided to have him create “At the breathing hole” to be done with a combination of wood and steel.

We can’t believe how wonderful it turned out. The sculpture was better than we imagined it would be. Jeff sent us pictures throughout the process so we could “watch” it being created and also invited us to his workshop to see the progress.

We highly recommend Jeff for any work you wish done. His talent and creativity are amazing and we are extremely pleased with the work he has done for us.

Sir Bailey & Gator

I receive more pleasure from your two magnificent bronze portraits of my beloved dogs than from all my other art combined. You captured their likenesses and their spirits perfectly and forever.

Thank you.

Golden Eagle With Fish

We were the very proud owners of the eagle carving that Jeff (we called him Hannum back then) did on the center support log of our hand-built log home in Knoxville, TN.

When the house was built the log was a lot taller than it finally ended up and looked totally out of balance with the rest of the log structure. In fact, it detracted from the open design and was kind of overpowering.

We knew it was meant to be a focal point but weren’t sure exactly what to do to make it what we wanted. I don’t remember just how we met Hannum, I think it was at a show of some kind. Whatever it was, we immediately knew that this guy could make something special out of our log.

He came to see what we had to work with and completely charmed us with his vision. Jeff wasn’t very well known at that time and all our friends thought we were out of our minds to let this unknown person take a chainsaw into the middle of our wonderful new house and just let him “go at it”.

We never had a doubt. I forget how long it took, but it was a terrific experience to watch him bring that log to life and not a day went by that we didn’t admire our eagle. It was perfect. It still is.

When the time came for us to sell that home the new owners told us it was the eagle that sealed the deal for them. It gives us great pleasure to know that eagle will be admired there for many generations.

There are many ways to integrate commissioned artwork into its surroundings.

  • Heat Tinted, Engraved Metal Wall Art
  • Decorative and Sculptural Coffee Tables
  • Free-Standing Sculptures
  • Interior & Exterior Works of Art
  • Both Cast and Carved Bas-Relief Panels
  • Finials for Posts, Logs & Timbers
  • Pierced Wood and Metal Screens, Overlays and Wall Art
  • Headboards and Mantles
  • Decorative Door Panels
  • Mobiles
  • Custom Portals and Doorways
  • Decorative Heat Shields for Wood Stoves
  • Both Cast and Carved Bas-Relief Panels
  • Panels for Soapstone Stoves & Masonry Heaters
  • Signs for Your Business or Home
  • and More…

What can you imagine for your own setting?

The Inspiration and Challenges provided by each Unique Commission are a Catalyst for my Creativity

As an artist who makes custom art commissions, I can’t help but get excited when presented with a new setting and opportunity to incorporate my art style into what you envision for it. Combinations of materials, techniques and subject matter all begin to take form in my mind.

This begins with a general feeling of what would go well in the space and continues to develop through interaction with my client, contemplation, design work,  and the odd flash of inspiration.

Fireplace mantle and pierced cherry relief of hiking mountain man and raven.

Like It’s Always Belonged There


I design many of my pieces for their specific setting. The shapes in the beautiful masonry fireplace inspired this pierced cherry mantle and open relief.

I designed it to complement, rather than hide the rock work.

Innovative Opportunities

Different locations offer unique opportunities. I made this large, layered wall piece for a recessed shelf.

I formed the stream into an S-curve to flow out and over the edge of the shelf. I also had a specific maple slab in mind when I designed this multi-layered metal and wood relief sculpture.

Fishing bear and raven in an Appalachian rhododendron thicket.

Collaboration


I'm honored to have been chosen in 2016 for the first public art commission in an Alaska State Park. I made a large engraved steel and wood wall piece for the new Kesugi Ken Interpretive Center in Denali State Park.

Eric, the project manager, later commented that he was most impressed with my ability to collaborate with the art committee and design artwork that synergized with the vision and purpose of the project.

Denali National Park; the mountains, rivers, animals and animal tracks. Engraved steel sawblade with heat tints.
Creative Synergy

When you decide to work with me, we’ll get together so you can share what you have in mind, what inspires you, and what you resonate with in my artistic portfolio. You might have particular ideas or a general overall feeling.

 

Either way, this will get my creative energies flowing and make it possible to blend your vision and dreams with my experience and artistic sensibility to realize something neither of us might have imagined on our own.


There’s generally a fair bit of compromise when you try to find off the shelf art that fits your needs. It’s pretty easy to end up settling for just another picture on the wall. I like to include you in the design process from the beginning and hone in on precisely what matters to you.

I may already have a piece of art that’s perfect for your situation; if not, I’ll be able to design a piece that’s inspired by the feelings, ideas, and input you’ve shared.

Through Your Spotting Scope

Jeff Dean was a pleasure to work with and provided an exceptional piece of artwork months ahead of schedule.

His website was used to provide real-time updates, detailing every step of the process. 

I was most impressed with his ability to collaborate with the client and design artwork which synergized with the vision and purpose of the Interpretive Center facility. 

He exceeded the expectations of all involved in the project.

Jeff Dean stands beside Through Your Spotting Scope, recently installed at teh new Kesugi Ken Interpretive Center.
Eric Hershey, P.E.
Project Manager
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

A Cohesive Approach

I like to take a Cohesive Approach when it comes to designing work for commissions. My ability to work equally well in a wide range of materials and styles allows me to create artwork that fits in and compliments its surroundings.

I also pay close attention when choosing the best size for the piece. This way, the artwork becomes an integral part of the setting and feels like it’s always belonged.

Decorative Coffee Table made for Bear Trail Lodge in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska.
A Broad Pallete

Being able to make both decorative and functional works means I can make pieces for multiple parts of a project and keep a unified feeling throughout.

It also gives me a broad palette to choose from to work within most budgets.

I like to take a Cohesive Approach when it comes to designing work for commissions. My ability to work equally well in a wide range of materials and styles allows me make work that really fits in and compliments its surroundings.

I also pay close attention when choosing the best size for the piece.This way, the artwork become an integral part of the setting and feels like it’s always belonged.

Mountain Man w/ Raven

I met Jeff at Art in the Park in Blowing Rock. He had an impressive portfolio, and as I'd recently built a new home in Linville, I asked him to design a wall sculpture for the tall stone fireplace. He came by the house, and after discussing themes and commenting on the beautiful masonry job, he came up with a design that complimented the stone work rather than hiding it. It is a beautiful piece and was a special part of the house. I enjoyed it for many years, and now, 20 plus years later, the family that currently owns the house comments on it often.

Heirloom Quality

When you have a connection to a piece, whether it spoke to you the moment you set eyes on it, or you were an integral part of its design, it becomes more than mere decoration, and something you will be honored to pass along through the generations.

Denali National Park; the mountains, rivers, animals and animal tracks. Engraved steel sawblade with heat tints.
Defining Your Legacy


Artwork needn't be an anonymous decoration, glimpsed in passing, but with no genuine depth of meaning for you. The right piece of artwork will complement and enhance your space and bring daily pleasure and satisfaction to you and your family or coworkers.

 

'You Can't take it with you.', but you can rest assured you are leaving quality in your wake. : )

Denali Table

My family and I have enjoyed the beautiful creativity of Jeff Dean's artistic production in our home for nearly 20 years. This has been in the form of the "Denali Table" which depicts various Alaskan wildlife pictured on iron set over a gorgeous wood table with metal coasters set around the table's periphery depicting the "foot prints" of all the pictured wildlife. This piece has been the topic of so many joyful conversations and memories and truly has forged lifetime memories for so many. I value this piece more than any other work of art in our home. My family and I have come to treasure this work not only for its beauty but for what it has evolved over time to represent in our Alaskan home. Thank you so much Jeff for sharing your gift with all of us!

Attention to Detail

When the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation chose my 'Seal Moon Rising' design for the new Dr. Paul John Calricaraq Project in Bethel, Alaska, it was with the request I alter the kayak to reflect the regional style.

After consulting one of the few remaining kayak builders in the area, I was able to make an accurate rendering of the kayak and associated implements.

seal-moon-rising-97
The Subtle Difference

 

The reason to work with me is, I can help set your brand and business apart from the competition by designing and creating focal point artwork that reflects the experience you offer your clients.

An exceptional piece of art will reinforce the perception of quality around your brand. It will enrich your client’s first impressions, and help create lasting memories while expressing those ineffable qualities so difficult to convey with words alone.

And, you’ll have the pleasure of living with art that synergizes with the vision and purpose of your business/project.

 

Original Drawing

Revised Drawing

Brand Enrichment

The reason to work with me is, I can help set your brand and business apart from the competition by designing and creating focal point artwork that reflects the experience you offer your clients.

An exceptional piece of art will reinforce the perception of quality around your brand. It will enrich your client’s first impressions, and help create lasting memories while expressing those ineffable qualities so difficult to convey with words alone.

And, you’ll have the pleasure of living with art that synergizes with the vision and purpose of your business/project.

Decorative Coffee Table made for Bear Trail Lodge in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska.
Set Yourself Apart

The owner of Bear Trail Lodge wasn't sure what kind of art she could use. She had a beautiful Bristol Bay Area lodge and a comfortable Greatroom that was an excellent place to gather and unwind after a day on the water.

But that was about it. There wasn't much to make it memorable or set it apart from other lodges. She loved my work, though, and knew it could help make here lodge stand out.

 

I worked with her to create a focal point for the room that resonated with her whole lodge experience.

 

In this case, it was a long, oval coffee table. The picture on the engraved steel top shows a satisfied brown bear rambling dreamily along the banks of a salmon stream. Even the ribs of the Alaskan birch magazine rack are like salmon bones drying in the sun.

 

Now, when you relax in the great room, gazing through the tall picture windows at the winding river where you spent your day, there in front of you is my table bringing the whole day's adventure back bigger than life.

People often see the role of art as a solution to empty spaces on a wall. Many pieces are nice to look at in passing, yet have a minimal lasting impact. 

I like to choose or design pieces around precisely what means the most to you. This way, you’ll get something you and your clients resonate with, and you won’t have to compromise on the overall feel of a piece, or how well it fits your space and branding.

A thoughtfully designed work will become an integral part of the experience you offer.

I made this decorative coffee table for Bear Trail Lodge in the Bristol Bay area of Alaska. The clients chose the design for the top from four different sketches. The original title, 'Daydreams along the Naknek' was changed to 'Bear Trails and Tall Tales' as it particularly fitted the lodge.

I'm looking forward to hearing some of those tall tales…

Bear Trails Lodge Table

Working with Creative Fires Studio was a great experience!  I was uncertain as to the type of piece I wanted, Jeff worked with me to create something that was perfect for my lodge.

The coffee table was designed around things that were important to the lodge experience I offer, it felt like it belonged the minute I unpacked it and incorporated it into my lodge.  There have beern so many expressions of appreciation since it arrived; a true heirloom piece.

Enjoying the Journey

After you've approved the initial design, you'll have the opportunity to follow along with the creation of your artwork. I like to document my work from the time that I am getting started through the entire process of creation, giving you a window into the creative process. This can be fun for your friends and family as well.

You can follow along on Instagram, Facebook, by email, or in-person with a studio visit. 

Whichever way you choose, it will be a fascinating journey from the first design to the final piece.

At the Breathing Hole

We commissioned Jeff Dean and Creative Fires studio to create a sculpture for our entryway. Jeff sat down and discussed the possibilities with us. We decided to have him create “At the breathing hole” to be done with a combination of wood and steel.

We can’t believe how wonderful it turned out. The sculpture was better than we imagined it would be. Jeff sent us pictures throughout the process so we could “watch” it being created and also invited us to his workshop to see the progress.

We highly recommend Jeff for any work you wish done. His talent and creativity are amazing and we are extremely pleased with the work he has done for us.

Thanks so much for your interest. If you resonate with my work, it’s time to think about your next steps. 

As you’ve absorbed all this, you may have had a few flashes of inspiration, or you may have decided to leave that up to me. You may feel you need to look around your place to get a sense of whether there’s a possible fit for my work or run it by your partner. And you may still have a few unanswered questions.

Either way, give me a call or send me an email and let me know what you’re thinking. If something’s piqued your interest, tell me what that may be, whether you have a specific spot in mind and if there’s anything you might imagine for it.

After the initial contact, if you are local, we can arrange a studio visit, and I can look at your setting in person. If you’re considering how you can commission art online, modern technology has made it easy for us to communicate about what you are looking for in a work of art, and what your setting and overall design plans call for. 

With a sense of what you like about my art, any particular subject matter you might prefer, timeframe or budget considerations, and an understanding of the setting, my creative energy can begin to flow, and that’s where the magic begins.

We can discuss the ideas I come up with, and I’ll make a sketch or model for your review. Once it’s refined and approved, I’ll use it as a reference for creating your artwork.

You may be wondering ‘how much do you charge for art commissions?’ Many factors weigh in on how much any artwork may cost. These include the size and complexity of the design, material and style choices, and delivery or installation considerations.

The current values of the examples presented on this page range from $1600 – $42,000. With this in mind, I’ve gotten very good at finding elegant solutions to meet the requirements of most budgets.

At any given time, I may have several projects in the works, or the wings, though now and then I’m between commissions, creating art for our gallery.

You can view the full breadth of my work here in my online art portfolio, or download my presentation portfolio, ‘Art and Innovation from the Creative Fires’ in pdf format.

You may also find ready-made artwork you love in our online gallery.

If you’re local to the Homer, Alaska area, visit The Dean Gallery to see my work in person and discuss your plans.

Or in the summer season, book a Dean Family Farm and Art Studios Tour to see our whole place.

In any event, I’d love to get your feedback and hear what you have in mind.

Click the button below to schedule a brief call with me. If your project sounds intriguing, I’d love to go into more detail with you and add you to my commission waiting list.

Thanks for taking a look. With no obligation on your part, I welcome the opportunity to explore the possibilities with you. As you have read in the testimonials above, commissioning an artist can be an extremely rewarding venture.

Arrange for Your Free Consultation Today

Brainstorm with me about possibilities for your space

Learn more about the art commission process

Share your vision and ideas

Find out what commissioning custom art could mean for you

Download 40 Years of Creative Output in our 98 page Presentation Portfolio

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