About

Bio by Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress (used with permission)

Duke DesRochers fixes one of his famous toilet paper rack holiday presents for his brothersDuke DesRochers is a handyman, chef, and all around Renaissance Man.

Duke DesRochers has long been an innovative thinker and artist ahead of his time. As a long-time cook, chef, and artist, our family gatherings are adored with his creative fruits and vegetable carvings. The youngest of six kids and now a very young and active grandfather, he is truly the Renaissance Man.

While many kids like to take things apart to figure out how they work, then struggle to put them back together again, Duke loved scavenging through already broken things to figure out how to put them together in new and exciting ways. Not just to use around the house – though his innovative toilet paper dispensers with magazine racks, reading supports, and other creative features have been the delight of family holiday gatherings and gift exchanges over the years – but as art work.

Duke DesRochers - Zig Zag Wall ArtDuke uses bits and pieces from pianos, doors, old houses, furniture, toys, cars, and whatever he can find to put them together as wall hangings, canes, bed headboards, shelves, and more undefinable art pieces.

In his recent gallery exhibition at the grand opening of the new Angst Gallery in Vancouver, Washington, the packed crowd was fascinated by his hand canes wrapped with Mardi Gras beads and toys and stained dark golden and black, a wall sculpture made of door panels with colorful and unusual door knobs framed in the panels, dice, a headboard-turned-wall-hanging-and-coat-rack featuring colorful bits of children’s toys covered with usual paints and stains, game pieces, silverware, parts of a piano, and other odds and ends he finds and melds together into fascinating pieces. These are artistic pieces you can look at for years and still find something interesting you didn’t notice before.

Door knobs in door panel frame by Duke DesRochersDuke DesRochers showing gallery visitors his artistic work, Vancouver, WashingtonBrent VanFossen explores wall art by Duke DesRochers

Duke brings this “use what you find” creativity into his three minute audition video for the Food Network. Why not clean up and use your old shop tools laying around in your garage in the kitchen and have some fun “fixing” food. He’s a man’s man cook! Think of coach potato men sitting up in their lounge chairs around the country thinking, “Hey, I got an extra drill! I haven’t played with that lathe in years. I can do that. Even I was impressed with the drill to carve out a dipping bowl out of a potato.

Duke could be the next Bob Vila of the Food Network, combining home improvements with food!

Think of the possibilities. He’s an artist and chef. He’s environmentally friendly and supportive, encouraging recycling in new and innovative ways. He’s not only good with kitchen tools but home improvement tools. Woodworking with vegetables!

Five Generations of the DesRochers Family 2007He is also entertaining, the first with the joke, and the hug, who understands family commitments and support. His dad died when he was very young and his mother was left to raise six kids on her own in The Dalles, Oregon, during tough economic times. He has always been there for his family and community, reaching out to other young children of single parents, to encourage them to be unique, creative, and confident people.

Think of it. With five brothers and sisters, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, children, grandchildren, grand nieces and nephews, and so on, the DesRochers family represents about 25% of the viewing audience! Built in demographics. Duke should win just on having majority audience share. 😀

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5 Responses to “About”

  1. Hi Duke linked to your Blog through a 31 ‘build a better blog” challenge that i am following and which lead me to Lorelle’s blog.

    Looking at your artwork reminded me of a visit 3 years ago that i made to the San Francisco Dump and an artist in residence programme that they run.

    I’m not sure yet from your blog where you live, i think it might be Washington but living in Europe as i am i have a vague sense of the geography of the USA. Anyhow coincidently i received an email from the Dump today as i am on their mailing list and their latest exhibition is opening.

    It might be something that would interest you so here is the link.

    http://www.sfrecycling.com/AIR

    If you don’t know about the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra already then here is a link to a video where your your love for sculpting vegetables may receive further inspiration.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2007/nov/28/videotheviennavegetableorc

    On a more selfish note if you can find a moment to teach me how to set photos into a blog text, as opposed to just at the top it would be great.

  2. Hi Duke, I’ve met you a couple of times at First Friday at the Angst Gallery, and was hoping to catch you there last night. Didn’t see you. I’d like to discuss a cane to be built for my 91 year old dad. There are a couple of design parameters: 1. It should be light in weight. 2. My dad’s a poker player. There should be some sort of thematic poker references. Please give me a call to discuss. Thanks, Marc

  3. I don’t usually comment on sites but had to on yours. You have a very unique writing style. A lot of people don’t have that touch, they just drone on and on in the most boring way. But not you – thanks! I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes you have here (after a trip to the market to get the ingredients). Cooking is my favorite hobby. I don’t have time to read it all right now, I found your site when looking for something else on Google, but I’ve bookmarked your home page and will visit again soon to see the latest articles. Click here if you’d like to check out my site. Thanks again!

  4. […] at this gorgeous table our friend Karyn Z. shared with us recently. This amazing piece is by artist Duke DesRochers from Battleground, Washington. He doesn’t stop at tables either! He creates mirrors, lamps, […]

  5. […] Z.’s fabulous mermaid coffee table with you. The table was the creation of the super talented Duke DesRochers. This week, Duke himself has shared more fabulous mermaid creations with us! Just look at these […]

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