We love receiving personalisation requests from our customers. It’s always a joy to see meaningful words and dates traditionally hand carved onto Teak Unique outdoor benches, garden chairs, and other teak garden furniture in celebration of weddings, milestone birthdays, significant anniversaries, retirement, or as touching memorials.
Wood carving is both a skill and an art, and we have so much admiration for Sarah Goss, the expert behind all Teak Unique’s hand carved commissions. It’s such an interesting career and we’re constantly firing questions at her, which we are delighted to share below.
SG: I have a BA (Hons) degree in Restoration and Decorative Studies where I learnt the traditional methods used for gilding, plasterwork, stucco and woodcarving. After graduating I started my own business specialising in carving as this was the craft I that enjoyed the most and had the lowest set up costs. I just had a garage, a workbench and 10 gouges when I started!
TEAK UNIQUE: What woodcarving services do you offer?
SG: I specialise in bespoke hand carved items ranging from lettering and relief decoration to producing architectural details such as corbel brackets and gilded ornaments.
TEAK UNIQUE: What are the most important tools and techniques that you use for woodcarving?
SG: The tools and techniques used today differ very little (if at all) from those used throughout history. You need some gouges (curved chisels), a mallet and a workspace where you can suitably secure your piece of wood. You need to decide which areas of wood need to be removed in order to create your design and work on creating the overall shape before finishing off with any small details.
SG: Wood is a very tactile material to work in – it has such beauty and diversity. Some of the wood I really like the look of aren’t necessarily best suited for carving, such as Yew which has a beautiful colour to it, but the grain can be quite difficult to work with. In terms of carving, Lime, Chestnut, Sapele, Walnut, and of course, Teak, are all enjoyable to carve.
TEAK UNIQUE: What are some of your favourite commissions that you’ve worked on?
SG: I enjoy creating quite classical designs, so anything with a bit of acanthus scroll work. Apart from that I enjoy working on things that have a lot meaning to someone, which is where the lettering comes into its own. Being able to produce a memorial bench or plaque that is bespoke to that person is very special.
TEAK UNIQUE: Do you have any advice for anyone considering mastering the skill of woodcarving?
SG: Persevere! Keep practicing the basics and gradually push yourself to try more challenging pieces. Try and study any woodcarvings you see on pieces of furniture or in stately homes. If you see anything in charity shops or at car boot sales that you can afford to buy, then do so. It’s far easier to try and copy from a 3D example than a 2D drawing that you’ve found online. If you’re struggling with any particular shape, try modelling it in clay first.
To help with the January blues, we’re offering complimentary hand carving on Teak Unique garden furniture until 31 January 2020.* Please order online and we’ll be in touch to discuss the next steps. Alternatively, email us with your required product, personalisation and delivery details.
Rachel & Victoria
With thanks to Sarah Goss (www.sarahgoss.co.uk)
*Promotion Terms & Conditions: Hand Carving promotion applies to new orders made between 20/01/20-31/01/20 and is limited to one order per customer name, contact details and address (billing or delivery). The promotion is for up to six 5cm high characters, or the same value equivalent of, per order. (The six characters can be hand-carved onto one product or split between products). Products will be hand carved between 3-7 February 2020.