We have had the opportunity to work with a variety of distinguished clients. With each new architectural woodcarving project, we strive to create a collaborative environment based on a sensitivity to the privacy of our clients and timely responsiveness to their needs. For a sampling of our expertise and to read client comments, we invite you to peruse our showcase.
You can also read case studies of some of our most interesting projects here.
Cathedral of St. Paul, Minn.
We constructed, carved, and installed an award-wining organ case for the Cathedral of St. Paul in Minnesota.
• Architect: Duncan G. Stroik
• Casework and installation: Geoff's woodworking
• Organ restoration: Quimby Pipe Organs
• Project management: JE Dunn Construction
(A version of this text originally appeared in Church Building & Heritage Review, Jan/Feb 2016)
Cathedral of the Madeleine
We provided a new chancel screen, furniture, tabernacle, confessionals, and restoration work for the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City.
• Architect: Beyer Blinder Belle
"Philosophical Hall" Library
Artichoke had been commissioned to produce a library based on the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Monastery in Prague. Our task was to create woodcarving as opulent as the original.
• Client: Private U.K. residence
• Joinery Company: Artichoke Ltd. of Somerset
We hand-carved all the walnut ornamentation for this modern Gothic-style dream house in Austin, Texas.
• Client: Malinard Manor
• Designer: Mark Cravotta
Utah Governor's Mansion
We reproduced fine woodcarving that was destroyed by fire in 1993.
• Client: The Utah Governor's Mansion, Salt Lake City
• Architect: MJSA Architects, Salt Lake City
We were commissioned to replace a carved oak Gothic screen following a serious fire in 2003.
• Client: The Hermitage Museum in Norfolk, Virginia
• Project Manager and Conservator: F. Carey Howlett
• Construction: Waterfront Lumber of Norfolk, Virginia
Rococo Fire Surround & Overmantle
The world's youngest Master Carver, Adam Thorpe, created a English Rococo masterpiece for the ages.
• Client: Gordon and Ann Getty, San Francisco
• Interior Designer: LeavittWeaver, USA and Canada.
Fulham Palace, London
We perfectly reproduced the woodcarving for the 18th-century Bishop Sherlock's room.
• Client: Hammersmith and Fulham Council and the The Fulham Palace Trust, London
• Architect: Thomas Ford and Partners, London
• Contractor: Mansell Construction Services, Ltd., UK
• Conservation Specialists: Plowden Smith, London
Throne for St. Pope John Paul II
Architect David Tryba commissioned us to build and carve a throne for Pope Saint John Paul II’s visit to Denver in 1993.
California State Capitol
We produced ornamental woodcarvings for the historic California State Capitol museum's grand staircase.
Award-winning designer Bill Bradley at Ecoism personally approached us to work on a high-end residential project.
• Project: Hand-carved Gothic bathroom
• Client: Ecoism Manufacturing Ltd.
• Contractor: Forcia, London
Piers Atkinson Collaboration
It seemed like an odd request: "We are milliners. Can you supply a piece of carved acanthus to develop into a hat?" Then we realized it was Piers Atkinson, one the most interesting and avant-garde milliners anywhere, so of course we were very intrigued...
Historical Room Design: Gothic
With linenfold panels, tracery cresting, carved cornices, a fire surround with overmantel, and a carved wood pelmet, this hypothetical Gothic revival-style room borrows elements from English churches and Tudor homes. This is one of four predesigned, historically accurate rooms that can be developed to suite your needs and conditions. We will execute the construction, carving, finishing, and installation. We can also supply specially designed furniture, treatments, and accessories such as heraldry and monograms, streamlining the entire process to save you time and money.
Historical Room Design: French
When clients ask for a “French paneled room,” they generally mean the 17th-century carved wood boiserie and decoration found at Versailles. This style has a unique quality of design and workmanship, and we have spent thousands of hours studying and recreating this fine work for our clients. This is one of four predesigned, historically accurate rooms that can be developed to suite your needs and conditions. We will execute the construction, carving, finishing, and installation. We can also supply specially designed furniture, treatments, and accessories, streamlining the entire process to save you time and money.
Historical Room Design: Neoclassical
The design of this neoclassical-style room can be adapted to suite any bedroom, dining room, or library. For example, the cabinets can conceal a television and other gadgetry or replaced with a specifically designed bed and side tables. This is one of four predesigned, historically accurate rooms that can be developed to suite your needs and conditions. We will execute the construction, carving, finishing, and installation. We can also supply specially designed furniture, treatments, and accessories, streamlining the entire process to save you time and money.
Historical Room Design: Art Nouveau
Our Art Nouveau-style room has hand-carved features inspired by designers such as Victor Horta and Louis Majorelle. We can produce the entire room in the hardwood of your choice—typically walnut or mahogany—and add bronze elements such as the capitals, sconces, and door handles. This is one of four predesigned, historically accurate rooms that can be developed to suite your needs and conditions. We will execute the construction, carving, finishing, and installation. We can also supply furniture, treatments, and accessories, streamlining the entire process to save you time and money.
Here is a collection of religious figures hand-carved in wood. As with all human forms, these are particularly challenging to execute correctly. However, we always relish carving projects for sacred spaces. It's always an honor to have our work displayed in public rather than hidden away in a private residence. It's also interesting working with the community on projects that are important to them—and to consider the legacy we all leave behind. Therefore it's particularly important to produce work that will stand up to scrutiny—now and forever.
Carved Wood Mouldings
Here's a collection of hand-carved mouldings we've done over the years. Even a simple motif can add texture, light, shadow, and contrast to a room or object by creating a sense of definition. With custom woodcarving, we can ensure every miter and return is properly designed to fit its intended space. Generally, we’ll add a beautifully carved motif, such as an acanthus leaf, at the miter for a clean, custom look. This is by no means an exhaustive collection; we can create anything to suit your design or budget needs. We can also supply samples for approval.
Carved Wood Capitals
The capital, from the Latin word "caput" or "head,” forms the crown of a column or pilaster and is the transition between the supporting column or shaft to the incumbent weight above. In ancient Greek and Roman architecture a system of orders was formed: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite, which features elements of both Corinthian and Ionic styles. Many of our commissions require us to create purist forms of classical capitals, but equally we develop new designs for specific projects. This allows us to produce examples that are not only original but that also fit the client’s budget.
Carved Wood Corbels & Brackets
Hand-carved corbels can be found around the world in various styles, from gargoyles on the sides of cathedrals to Romanesque corbels that can be either plain in appearance or decorated with stylized human heads, animals or fantastical beasts. In Italy and France, corbels that support balconies are typically massive and elaborately carved. In England, wood-carved corbels and brackets are seen everywhere, often supporting windowsills or bay windows. "Corbelling" is a technique that uses a row of corbels to support a projecting parapet or wall.
Carved Wood Panels
Hand-carved wood panels define the look of a space and create a harmonious design balance. We have decades of experience producing panels in many different styles. Jacobean and Gothic periods are known for strap work, linenfold, and heraldic motifs. The Renaissance period boasts dramatic acanthus and interwoven animals. French Louis XIV style is exemplified at Versailles, where wood boiserie panels were gilded and painted. The 18th century featured delicate ornamentation. Across Asia, panels incorporate complex figures and plants while Islamic art gives us beautiful geometric patterns.
Carved Wood Friezes & Bands
A carved frieze is traditionally the middle horizontal member of an entablature above the architrave and below the comic. However, we use the term liberally to describe almost any horizontal carved section—such as on a fireplace or above a door or cabinet. A frieze might feature a large design or a repeating motif, similar to moulding. Bands are architectural elements that have a wide, flat profile and feature a repeating motif. They function like friezes but are longer in length, like moulding.
Carved Wood Appliqués & Onlays
Appliqués or onlays are woodcarvings that are fretted out, carved, and then applied or laid onto walls, ceilings, furniture pieces, cabinets, doors, or any other millwork. This approach saves time and materials—and therefore money—because it eliminates the need to remove the background surrounding the ornament. Designers have preferred this approach for centuries because it allows them to easily add decoration practically anywhere.
Here you'll find hand-carved wood fire surrounds and designs we've produced over the years. We have decades of experience building and carving fire surrounds and mantles in many styles, from Gothic to Art Deco and everything in between.
We can also produce carved wood appliqués that can be added to existing pieces or incorporated into new designs.
Cast Bronze Ornaments
If your project requires a number of complex carved elements, such as capitals or floral swags, casting them in bronze could cost less than carving each one individually in wood. Our masters are hand-carved in wood rather than modeled in clay, a process that produces ornaments that are crisp and imbued with all the intricate facets of woodcarving. We also cast in real bronze, not resin impregnated with bronze powder. This is an important consideration as bronze is a highly respected medium and it therefore retains its value, both aesthetically and financially, in a way plastic products don’t.
Armand-Albert Rateau (1882-1938) was a French decorator and architect. The wit and delicacy of Rateau’s work, and the skill level required to execute it, is astounding. His style is ancient and yet has an entirely modern aesthetic. We’ve had great success replicating Rateau-inspired pieces for several of our prestigious international clients. The style is a favorite of Ian Agrell himself, and he has recreated many pieces for his own home.
In addition to the work above, previous clients in the US, UK, and Europe include:
- 60,000 hours of woodcarving for a private library in Washington state for O.B. Williams Co
- Several Art Nouveau furniture pieces for George Lucas
- Numerous private residences for Hull Historical
- Two fireplaces for a private residence for Fixture Pro
- Valances with masks for Comstock’s of California
- Several custom hand-carved furniture pieces, brackets, and accessories for Interior designer John Stefanidis. See also An Island Sanctuary: A House in Greece by John Stefanidis. Hand-carved chairs were featured in Architectural Digest.
- A carved ceiling for Merritt Woodwork and Smith Architectural Group Inc., of Palm Beach, Fla.
- Woodcarving for a private residence in Eaton Square, London. The project included finely carved Chinoiserie moldings and frames for the dining room, carved swags for the dressing room, Art Nouveau furniture influenced by Armand-Albert Rateau, acanthus brackets, and rosettes for a fireplace. The interior designer was Geoffrey Bradfield. The project was featured in Architectural Digest.
- Custom carved furniture for David Collins Studio in London
- Sculptural woodcarving and custom frames for a world-renowned pop artist in Los Angeles
- Custom hand-carved decoration for the Sultan of Brunei’s London residence and Istana Nurul Iman palace.