Entries in mantel (3)


A Mantle with Deer in the Forest in Utah

Recently I wrote several blogs about a family lodge in the remote mountains near Park City, Utah. One was about a hand-carved guest house entryway designed with a fox, and the other was the main house entryway designed with Sand Hill cranes. This blog is about the mantle I designed and built for the same home. 

It's made of solid walnut, with three deer (two doe and a fawn) standing on a hill at the edge of the forest looking out below them. The deer are mule deer, native to the surrounding mountains. In the design I created a strong contrast between the flat surface and the heavy relief on the right side. The contrast gives a dynamic that I like, and the surface that is free of carving gives a place to imagine the vast forest below and to wonder what it is that the deer are listening to. 

I shipped the mantle to Utah, and since I wasn't there to install it myself I only have photos of it taken from inside my shop.


Fireplace Mantels

Above: Solid black walnut, Country French style, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 

Over the years I have designed and built many mantels of every size, shape, and style you can imagine, from a very simple rustic beam to very complex carvings, and out of a vast array of woods.

Mantels, like entryways, give a great opportunity to express the client's style of design. Mantels bring life and warmth to any room that needs that special touch or focal point.

I regret that I don't have pictures of many of the mantels I have made, sometimes because the job site was still under construction when I installed the mantel, sometimes the mantel got shipped to another state, and sometimes I just forgot to take the pictures. Regardless of that, I do have a large variety of mantels to display on this blog and you can also see them on my website under "Built-Ins" in the middle of page three. 

Above: Solid black walnut, with hand-forged grill with vines and leaves, David Frisk style, Del Mar, CA

Above: Solid black walnut mantel and mirror frame, Country French style with hand carving, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Above: Solid cherry, David Frisk style, hand carved birch tree branches, Deer Valley, Utah

Above: Rift-cut solid white oak with a dark aniline dye, hand carved, Classic style, La Jolla, CA 

Above:  Solid white oak, hand carved, Spanish Revival style. Installed in the master bedroom, the doors above mantel open to reveal a TV. Point Loma, CA

Above: Solid white oak, Traditional style, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Above: Single solid beam of #2 common white oak with a dark aniline dye, heavy hand carving, Medieval/Spanish style, Newport Beach, CA

Above:  Close up of above mantel

Above: Solid maple, Traditional style, Del Mar, CA

Above: Solid white oak, hand carved, Spanish Revival style, Point Loma, CA

Above: Solid mahogany, Traditional style, Encinitas, CA 

Above: Solid white oak, Country French style, hand carving, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Above: Solid white oak, close up of hand carving on above mantel 

Above: Solid white oak

Above: Solid white oak, hand carved, Neo-Classic style, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Above: Solid butternut, Spanish style with hand-forged iron grill, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Above: Solid butternut, Spanish style with hand-forged iron corbels and grill.

Above: Solid white oak, hand carved, Classic design

Above: Hand-carved lions and acanthus leaves



Hand-carved Mantel with Hand-forged Fireplace Screen

The clients I built this hand-carved solid walnut mantel for wanted a very free-form, sculptural design, a centerpiece for their living room invoking nature, the forest.  As with all projects, I hand select all the wood for color, grain, and qualty for carving.  After the client approves the scale drawing, I enlarge the drawing to full scale, making any design adjustments that didn't show on the scale drawing.  The construction details and techniques are also planned during this stage.  I do all my drawings by hand, because as you can see, you would never get this elaborate or creative design from a CAD system.  

The mantel is constructed paying close attention to matching the grain.  Then the real fun begins.  First I rougly shape the piece, and then step by step refine the details until I am happy with everything.  Then I start sanding, to refine the carving, smoothing it out so that it feels almost fluid to the touch.

The clients also wanted a non-toxic finish so I used a hand-rubbed oil finish.  It really brought out the beauty of the wood.

The full scale drawing of the iron work was done at the same time as the carved mantel, but the pattern needed to be transferred to a piece of plywood because I am working with red-hot iron.  As the pieces are completed they need to be fit and matched to the pattern, and a paper pattern would burn from the heat.  You can see the scorched wood on my patten in the video below.  Here I am forging the leaves.

Each piece is forged and fit together.  Finally, I forge the hinges formaing branches and leaves to functions as the hinges. 

Beautiful art for your home, which I call Architectural Art, adds so much to the ambiance of your surroundings.