The School of Classical Woodcarving


If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a woodcarver and creating some of the beautiful work you see on these pages, The School of Classical Woodcarving is a great place to start.

Ian teaching the flow and movement of an acanthus leaf (1)

Ian explains the fundamentals behind carving an acanthus leaf.

Throughout the year, Master Carver Ian Agrell teaches the art of classical woodcarving to small groups of students. Only hand tools are used—no machines. Our woodcarving school is located in Ian’s home workshop in San Rafael, California, just a few miles north of San Francisco. Presently classes range from two days to seven days. Class size is limited to six students.

Ian began carving in 1961 and is one of only a few who have dedicated themselves to the continuation of a craft rooted in the guilds of medieval Europe. He trained at the City and Guilds of London Art School before being elected to the Master Carvers Association in 1981. His teaching experience includes both adult education with the Cambridge Education Authority and private students.

Ian also directs Agrell Architectural Carving, which creates exquisitely hand-carved wood ornamentation for residential and religious projects. The company’s production includes decorative moulding; gothic screens and gargoyles; renaissance paneling; capitals, and brackets; fireplace mantels; custom carved furniture; and acanthus scrolls.

The School of Classical Woodcarving provides the opportunity to learn or improve fine woodcarving skills from the best teacher in the United States. This would also make a nice gift; we can issue a gift certificate for the holidays.

Use the menu to the right to navigate information about the school. When you’re ready to enroll, fill out the form here.