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I am a hand woodcarver who specializes in all manner of decorative elements and would be happy to entertain any carving projects you might be considering. Most all of my work comes from the drawings of architects, interior designers or the client's own ideas. These hand carvings can be simple and straightforward or as wildly complicated as the client wishes. More recent projects are at the bottom. 

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30 inch tall Honduras mahogany mantle brackets.
Black and white picture is part of the centerpiece for the same mantle. Please note the dime for scale.


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The first newspaper clip tells where the mantle brackets were installed.
The first picture shows the installation of these brackets and the three carved panels on the frieze above them.
The middle picture shows the centerpiece with post horn, crossed swords, and leaf festoons. The larger side panel festoons are about the size of a 6" long, skinny  banana. 
The last picture features one of the carved brackets and a look at one of the carved leaf festoons on the panel above.
The last newspaper clip reveals the fate of these carvings.



The pictures below are of my work for the winter of 2015 and they represent about 10 weeks of labor. They are made from laminated South American mahogany and are completely hand carved. The initial, glued up blocks were made large enough so that two brackets could be cut out of each. 


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Rectangular blocks cut out into the architect supplied profile.
The serpentine face was then hand carved into the profile shown. 
The leaves live within this profile and are 3/8" in height. Carving the leaves into the carved profile is how you show  the contours of the imaginary surface underneath. 
The last picture shows the eyes and major planes of the leaf pads being defined before the details are carved


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The first picture is a good example of how the leaves are developed from top to bottom. 
The second and third picture shows the fully developed leaves.
Picture four shows the development of the bottom leaves which bump into the minor scroll and turn back toward the serpentine face and the larger, major scroll.
Five and six show more leaf development. 
The second to the last picture shows the development of of the side face spray.
Last picture depict one of the finished brackets. 


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First two pictures show the first two fully carved brackets.
These brackets are intended for outside use in South Carolina and so I gave them their first two coats of oil base primer. 
The last three pictures show yours truly with the brackets in progress. 
These brackets will be hung upside down with the square end against the house. The long. flat side holds up a entry door roof. When walking up to these two entries, the small minor scroll and serpentine face leaves will be what greats you. 3-2015


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First four pictures we have two entryway brackets made out of glued up, South American mahogany. 
Last two pictures shows these brackets installed in their new home. 12-2015


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First 2:  One of a kind display case for a Crouch~Fitgerald store.
4 "flying" moldings.
Replacement fingers and hand for a suit dummy (6 pieces per finger).
Carved replacement hand rail turn.
Carved newel post panels. 
Stairway goosenecks.
Stairway goosenecks from the top looking down.  I also turned the prototype for the balusters. 


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Work in progress for the stair rail wreaths above.



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First picture: Screen layout on oak blank - partially cut out.
Next 3: Screens used above fixed glass panels and door. Carved on both sides.
Last: 3 3/8" tall X 2 1/8" wide mahogany brackets. 



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American walnut shield and coat of arms. Shield is 1 1/4 inch thick solid walnut and is 48 inches tall by 40 inches wide. The Coat of arms itself is 2" thick and was carved separately, painted, gilded with 23K gold and  aluminum leaf and then attached to the shield. The harp strings are made from "fine" (.996 pure) silver wire. Fine silver is nearly pure silver and will not tarnish. Sterling has a bit of copper in it to make it stronger and it is the copper that tarnishes.  
The last picture shows the arms hanging in its new home. Perfect scale for a room this size. 



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Fireplace urn carving 
Oak shell and valance scroll work.
Three carved prototypes 
Last 2: Two keystones for a church pipe organ and the mock-up picture of same.


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Three acanthus leaf studies in America honey mesquite followed by one in white pine.
Carved mahogany eagle was done for a friend of mine, Bill Thomas of Rindge, New Hampshire. The 112 inch tall circa 1790 Maryland Federal cylinder-fall desk and bookcase is his masterpiece. Bill is a member of the New Hampshire Masters and you can see his wonderful work at:
Last eagle carving is of the United States Naval Reserve emblem.


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First picture: Gargoyle on a perch.
Next 3: Dragon head from 3 angles.
4 different shell designs.



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First two: Large10 segment shell carved on owner supplied, knotty Eastern White Pine panel. The panel dimensions are 42" X 24"
Last three: Altering designer's plans to accommodate three dimensional realities. 
Working through prototypes.
Finished foot and skirt was worth the prototype effort. 



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First two: This is a real pretty chestnut mantle made by Fred Wildnauer of South Berwick, Maine. I carved the three oval sunburst medallions. 
Next four: Huge keystones and returns (22" long X 16" top X 10" bottom) for a pair of very large, arched doorways.  Made for GLR woodworks, Kittery, Maine.
Last two: These are every tiny and precise newel post panels. Note the dime in the first picture for scale. The 7 small protruding "buttons" between the shields are 3/16" in diameter. The background piece is 3/16" thick and both shield elements are 3/32" thick except for the last 1/8" of the pointy ends which are 3/16".  17 pieces total plus the prototype. 


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First three: 2 1/2" tall egg and dart carvings (8) in a solid cherry capital.
Last two: Finished and installed capitals.


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First two: 7" long acanthus leaf drawer pull.
Last one: Two sets of two walnut drawer pulls.


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32" Wide basswood turning being laid out and carved into a cupboard shell. These two shells were carved for G.J.W. Spykman, Cabinetmakers from Keene, NH. Gary's website is at: . These two shells were actually one unit to start. They were turned into a bowl shape on a large, patternmakers lathe and then separated into two halves. The shells were carved out of these two pieces.
The last four pictures show the shells in their cabinets both bare and primed.


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First two pictures show the above shells after painting, gilding and installation. Gary did a fabulous job. 
Third picture shows a wooden flower with brass stem.
The forth shows 40 of them finished.
Fifth picture and they are starting to look like something.
Last two pictures show how they were used in the same home as the shells. 


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These carved walnut dolphins are located in the Naval Ambulatory Care Center at the Historic Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. The board itself depicts the command structure of that clinic. 



The mantles below were designed by:

Mitchell Studio
35 Elm Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Phone: 203-642-7440

They were built by: 

Grace, Ryan & Magnus Millwork, LLC
17 North Bleeker Street
Mount Vernon , NY 10550

Tel: 914-925-9741



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Pine library mantle.  
Pine library mantle carved center panel.
Pine library mantle carved center panel detail.
Pilaster detail.
Another mantle before carving.


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A few more pictures of another interesting mantle, carving now complete. 



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Living room mantle flute lay out.
Flutes being carved.
More flute carving with a nice assortment of chisels.
Carved sine wave molding
Carved panels and molding
Molding and panels for one of two identical mantles.  These are "raw'' carvings in that neither the background nor the carvings themselves have been sanded yet.  Every good job starts with a good design and the Mitchell Studio got these designs exactly right!


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This 4 carved panel was designed by the customer and will be used as a pattern to make a mold that will be used to cast similar panels out of aluminum. 
2 highboy shells in cherry


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Two interesting vanity legs supplied by Grace, Ryan & Magnus Millwork.
Front view of a leg's carved acanthus leave knee.
Side view of same. 
The feet were carved on the two outside faces. Note the stippled or punched background. This technique helps make the background appear to be deeper than it really is and that makes the carving really stick out. 


Makore shell .jpg (20726 bytes) Carved rope on cherry frame.jpg (25896 bytes) Carved rope.jpg (43183 bytes) Carved leaf & tongue molding.jpg (33852 bytes) Egg & Dart 2.JPG (38324 bytes) Egg & Dart 3.JPG (40337 bytes) Egg & Dart 1.JPG (17310 bytes)
Makore shell. One of 40!
Cherry frame with carved rope molding.
Close up of carved rope molding.
Carved mahogany leaf & tongue molding. 74 feet total. 
Last three pictures: Carved Quarter sawn white oak egg & dart molding. 96 feet total.


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4 views of the same pine finial. 


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More interesting project for Grace, Ryan & Magnus

11 brackets made out of quarter sawn white oak. Dimensions: 10 3/4" long X 3 3/4" wide (top) X 3 3/8" wide (bottom) X 2 1/2" thick at the top.  Although they were carved a number of years apart, note the similarities between this little oak carving and the 30" tall mahogany mantle brackets at the top of the page. 
The last picture is of a quarter sawn white oak rosette prototype. Designs as smell as this are difficult to transfer to course, open grain wood like oak so gluing the paper to the wood turns out to be the best option. I carved half of the design to get the feel of what I wanted and left the rest with the stuck-on design. 

Ambient light conditions had a dramatic effect on the picture color. 


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The first  3 pictures are of one of the 5 Scamozzi capitals I recently carved for Grace, Ryan & Magnus. 
Picture 4 shows the Capital body with volutes separated from its molding.
The next picture is of all 5 caps in different positions
The last picture is of the original capital that was later remover and sent to me for copying. These were an interesting pieces to figure out and assemble. The original was made up of 10 separate pieces of mahogany and so were the reproductions. 3 pieces for the body, 2 pieces for each volute and 3 pieces for the egg & dart / bead & reel molding. Made this way, the volutes were assembled and partially carved before being assembled to the body, the molding was turned on my lathe and fully carved before final assemble (picture 4) and the face and ends had the same grain direction for easier carving.   


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The first three pictures are of the bottoms for two piece balusters. The spheres are held by carved red oak leaves
The next two are of the baluster tops. 
The last two are of the tops and bottoms, joined, finished and gilded. 


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The first four pictures are of turned and carved newel post finials. The picture shows what they look like after the finish and gold lead work. All of these finials and the balusters above were installed on a 160' aluminum hull yacht.  Turning was done by others. 


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The first picture is of the original carved rosette. Its original use is unknown.
Next two pictures is of the five reproductions.
Last four pictures are of one of a pair of carved and painted wooden brackets.


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These are pictures of a quarter sawn, white oak newel post finial and hand rail elbow. The elbow connects the angled handrail to the horizontal finial via a miter. This part of stair work is always interesting. 


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First three: These are pictures of two interesting capitals I was asked to reproduce. They were part of the surround for a palladium window that is in a 1710 barn and one is for a column and one for a pilaster. On the column capital, the egg and dart molding and the bead astragal are made up of two small pieces that were fit into a cut out section at the bottom front of the capital (pictures 2 and 3). Then the bottom piece with carved scotia was fit in to slots carved into the inside of each scroll and turned 90 degrees to lock all three pieces in. I stripped the paint off one just to find out how deeply it was carved. The grain goes from front to back on the stripped capital! 


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 6" tall urns with 3 carved acanthus leaf motifs on each. These have different contrast to show detail.  


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The first picture shows what the individual capital faces look like after the overall, rough design was band sawed into the block. The blocks are 4 3/4" thick and made out of mahogany and the ends have been mitered to 45 degrees. 
Second picture shows a face with the design penciled on and the beginning, rough cuts made. 
Third picture shows one face complete with a prototype abacus and floron sitting on top and the assembly at the approximate installed viewing height. 
Fourth picture shows the bottom of all four, carved faces glued together and the major volute lines under the "chin" cut in.
Fifth picture is of the completed assembly. It lacks the abacus, floron and bottom "nose" molding that will interface with the octagonal columns.     


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The first picture is of the completed, four face assembly from a different view.
Second picture shows 15 carved partially carved faces.
Third picture shows some faces with the acanthus leaves drawn in and some (middle stack) with the leaves roughed in.  Each individual element is carved on all faces - then on to the next element. This method aids in consistency and time.   
Fourth picture of the partially carved faces with one in the vice. 
Fifth picture is the same from  another angle. 


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First: Carving a capital face. 
Next three: Prototype column made from fiberboard.
Last: Full Column fiberboard prototype.


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First: Full Column fiberboard prototype and Mark, the maker. 
Second: Capital faced done.
Third: Column staves being milled
Fourth: Another  milling view.
Fifth: Wooden column half being assembled.


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First: Another view of a wooden column half being assembled.
Second: Full column assembled
Third & fourth: Column done.
Last: Column top.


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First: Column bottom.
Second: Maine Wood & Design woodworker/column maker Mark standing to the left of project manager Bill. Maine Wood & Design is located in York, Maine. 
Third: Carving the last of the assembled capital faces.
Fourth: Capital faces assembled and carved - finally! 
Bottom molding of the abacus carved along with the nose acanthus leaves. 


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First through fifth: Different angles of the same capital showing off its new abacus. The abacus is the molding that sits on top and on this one part of the major volutes and nose acanthus actually live on it.  


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Five: A stack of five capitals showing off their newly carved and installed abacus molding.  
Second: Florons installed and waiting for their leaf covered seed pods.
Third: Florons with their leaf covered seed pods - each  one carved just a bit differently from the others. 
Fourth & Fifth: Capital meets column. 


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First, second & third: Capital and column without base. Too much white background for a good detailed picture. 
Fourth: Column base.
Fifth: Finished capital on base - just for fun.


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First: Capital / column interface.
Second: Column / base interface.
Third, fourth & fifth: Capital / column long shots.


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First: Completed work.
Second: 6'2" woodcarver and completed work. 
Third: Partially completed corbel. 
Fourth: Same corbel with bottom finial completed.
Last: What they look like from the side before back and top are attached. 


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First: From the bottom looking up
Second: Both corbels, back to back. Some of these pictures were taken upside down and turned 180 degrees for presentation. 
Third: The finial shape was turned round, indexed and eight sides marked, then carved. This one is partially done.
Last:  The eight sides were hand carved using the tools shown. The most enjoyable part of the process. 


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Finished corbels in different poses. Corbels are 14" tall X 14" wide X 12" deep.  Each corbel is 5/8 of a capital in depth and 88% of it's volume.


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This project is 120 feet of 5/8' X 7/8" egg & dart molding for an entry door and side lights. Unlike most, the molding will be used on both the inside and outside of the door.  
Three pictures showing the beautiful doors and side lights with all woodworking done. Framed in the door, on the left is Fred Wildnauer, owner of F.A.Wildnauer Woodworking in South Berwick, Maine. On the right is woodworker Nate Russell  who made the doors. 


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Turned acorn sitting on oak leaves carved out of a 6" X 9" white oak keystone. Tung oil and wax finish.


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 Brackets carved from quarter sawn white oak.   


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This carved shell is 6' 6" long X 3'3" wide X 3" thick and is made out of Sign Foam, a high-density polyurethane product that is unaffected by weather or temperature. It is installed over the entry way of this beautiful private home on Cape Cod.  Special thanks to: 

Gilman Martiny - Project Manager 
Nicholaeff Architecture + Design


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Five different views of two Ionic order capitals carved out of mahogany.


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Seven views of letter carving for a York High School trophy case dedicated in the memory of Gertrude M. Butler. 


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This is a 90" long scroll  for the left side of a two scroll pediment for the porch of a  house. The material it is made out of is a high density, polyurethane product that carves very well, does and is not affected by moisture or sun light. The major scroll is 20" in height.


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A 24" tall urn that is the centerpiece for the scroll pediment. Same material.  
Scrolls installed. 


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First picture: Concave oval sunbursts for a fireplace.
Next three: Mahogany brackets carved with an acanthus leaf motif.
Last two: Grandfather clock finial.


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Two poplar capitals, turned by others and sent to me for carving. Following the architect's sketches, I first drew the design onto the blank followed by evenly spaced lines of latitude from top to bottom. On a full size drawing, corresponding lines were drawn and measurements taken from the outside of the wood to the inner "vase like" shape. Each line has its own depth and holes were drilled to that exact depth perpendicular to the spindle centerline. 
Second picture: When the drill bit touched the outside wooden surface at any line, the scale's pointer was set at "zero." The depth stop was set when the drill bit reached the desired depth. The drill is tapered along its length so in carving away the waste, the closer I got to the bottom of the hole the smaller its diameter. A very convenient (an accidental) visual clue.   


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After wasting away the poplar down to the bottom of the holes and finding the "vase" shape, the reeds were laid out and carved.  


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The base was laid out and carved in a conventional way. 
I disliked the variations in the wood color so much that I had to prime it.  


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The seven pictures above and fourteen below show the making of a handrail wreath for a house on the Atlantic ocean here in town. 


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The material is white oak and the expert instillation was thankfully done by others. 


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Handrail wreaths are about as complicated a woodworking project as you see now days. With the advent of CNC milling machines, making one by hand is quite rare.    


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These four reeded feet are made from 4" diameter poplar spheres. Stop cut lines and reed center lines have been drawn.
Stop cut lines have been cut. Reeds have been hand carved in one of the feet.
Sanding and three coats of paint have them smooth, shiny and ready for the gold.
Three hours of gilding later and they are looking good.


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Two hand rail ends are needed by The Fernwood Company in Cape Neddick, Maine. I received two perfect mahogany blanks from their resident woodworking artisan Steve Fiske.  
There were a number of cardinal points I had to locate before I began to carve. All these were delineated with a small hand held ancient laminate trimmer with modified bed and rolling fence.
Screwing on a cut off end of the hand rail profile makes carving easier. 
The cove cuts were continued around the head and faired in with a half round file.    


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One of the completed ends poses for a picture.
At the Fernwood shop the ends meet and are joined with the very interesting handrail. 
Steve holds one of the ends next to the other completed rail. Tell me that doesn't look sharp!  


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Here are what they look like after site instillation.  


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