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prowell woodworks for garden gates
 


Prowell's Carved Organic Garden Gate #204


 

 

CARVED WOOD GATES #204
(Available as a single or double gate)

 

 


It's hard to explain the original inspiration behind the idea for the Hand-Carved Wood Gate #204. Something different, is all.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hand-Carved custom wood gate #204

 

 


Pebble Beach, CA

Prowell's #204 as the entry gates to a home along the 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach, CA.

An ideal confluence, all in all, with the windswept Monterey Cypress famously associated with the area.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carved wood gate #204

 

 
Pebble Beach, CA

An in-progress 3rd party arbor deigned to hopefully resolve an issue with a high water table that has shown to undermine the stucco wall somewhat. It would have been preferable had they asked Charles to work this out, as the arbor seems distinctly at odds with the gates.

Shown with Rocky Mountain Gate Latch E414

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Exceptional Wood garden gate #204

 

 

There are varying levels of depth, giving the impression of continuity as the smaller branches pass through larger limbs.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unique Custom Wood Gate #204

 

 

Each of the secondary limbs are joined by a mortise and tenon joint that varies in its size and stress load.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fabulous Carved wood gate #204

 


IN-PROGRESS

  #204                                                
 

Settling on the decades-old stash of Port Orford Cedar. Long ago, this represented one of the best woods on earth for exterior assemblies. But since the 70's it more or less disappeared. A few groves exist in southern Oregon, but for the most part these are being milled far too early, leaving a product that is too unstable for much of anything but decking secured at every joist.

  building gate #204
  #204                              
 

The technique of creating relief, and depth, was first attempted on the stand-up mirrow below, designed and built in the mid-90's and still commissioned today.

 
Stand-up mirror by Prowell Woodworks   Prowell's stand-up swivel mirror
  #204                              
 

Nothing much has changed when joining an edge. Stanley #7 Jointer's plane (circa 1880) belonging to Charles' step-father's father's father. But not something dwelled upon, as there are dozens of inherited workhorses in the shop and still performing their job as they once did back in the late 19th century.

  Planing a gate stile
  #204                              
 

The two branches, or limbs. We'll further the illusion in the coming days with the carved confluence of where the branches interconnect with the gate's stiles and rail.

  woodworking jonery for the garden gate by prowell
  #204                              
 

Creating the relief begins by scoring the line with a sharp carving knife. Followed by opening up the scored line using the same knife. And then the chisel, working away the stock in a gradual feathering.

 
Unusual wood gates
 
unique wood gates
  #204                              
 

It's advisable to settle upon a system for honing your chisels that is quick and easy, lest it be put off and you're working with dull tools.

 
sesigner wood gates
 
wood gates as art
  #204                              
 

With that in mind, I'm reminded of a recent gift from my friend Eric Johnson, of Iota Press, who retires as a carpenter and takes up a career with the lost art of letter press printing. An excerpt culled from a Cormac McCarthy novel, printed one letter at a time as a broadsheet. One of those adages that hangs around, like footprints on the brain.

 
  #204                              
 

The first interlocking branches. Each joint must be hand-cut.

  Phenomenol wood gates
  #204                              
 

The growth of our secondary planes begins to take shape. Having spent inordinate hours sketching trees as an art and architecture student, the lessons of perspective and vanishing scales return to dictate the separation from the primary and secondary levels. This will be furthered when the gates are actually assembled and glued to a final position, followed only then by the remedial carving that will distinguish the limbs on their distinctive planes. We would hope to see, from a distance, a sense of depth we see when actually viewing a tree; how the limbs and branches in the background are foreshadowed to those larger limbs in the foreground by the existence of size and shadow. In a two-dimensional work, we'll create the illusion of shadows by carving reliefs at strategic points of confluence.

We are in the infancy. We are incalculably lost to the ravages of logic and common sense. Really, there is no plan. No template. There is only an aesthetic's apprenticeship for planes and dimensions and perspectives to be coupled with fundamentals of a 15-year apprenticeship completed 30+ years ago.


  Amazing custom wood gates #204
  #204                              
 

Fitting the lower right gate with the first of the secondary limbs as a glimpse of what's to come. But first we must mortise and assemble what we have in place. Fixing these parameters with a defined and unchanging position before turning to what promises to be an encompassing phase of scrollwork.

We've turned to Ipe for this. A dark, dense, resistant species from Brazil almost impossible to find as a certified offering. The vast vast majority of this currently popular wood is being harvested and exported without regard to the environment or the indigenous populations it impacts. There is simply not enough manpower or resources to enforce the laws of an area so vast as the Amazon Basin, which has changed so dramatically since Charles was there in the mid-70's. At that time, there was only a single partial dirt road being cut through the jungle known as the BR-1. Today a miasma of logging roads like spider webs, with a loss of the rainforest at a rate that boggles the mind. Much of it driven by an American demand for products such as Ipe, impervious to how it was harvested or how those methods are impacting the largest rain forest in the world.

So we went to some extremes to find a rare source of certified Ipe, costing about three times the going rate.

  Astounding wood gates by prowell
  #204                              
 


  fabulous wood garden gates
  #204                              
 

With the various primary limbs set in place, we can now create the layers of an illusory depth. Carving reliefs is a fairly simple process, beginning with the thin hard blade of a carving knife honed every few minutes on a diamond stone. Scoring the lines.

  how to hand-carve a wood gate
  #204                              
 

This is followed by chiseling away the stock with the thin shavings of once again, a blade that is kept honed to a razor's edge.

  carving a natural garden gate
  #204                              
 


  Unique garden gate #204
  #204                              
 


  Charles building a wood gate #205
  #204                              
 


  Hand-made custom wood gates by prowell
  #204                              
 


  building a wood gate by hand

 

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#204--1205--RussellGibson
+275% per gate