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Mobile:  07739 380534
Workshop:  01634 831456
Address:  6 Ordnance Mews
The Historic Dockyard
Chatham, Kent, U.K. ME4 4TE

About Paul
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After leaving school in the early 1970s, I spent 3 years at the City &  Guilds of London Art School in Kensington London where I studied  woodcarving and gilding for three years. 

For the next 11 years the necessity of making a living saw me working in sales for various companies.   During this time I continued to do various commissions for joinery  companies  or antique dealers whom I would meet during my sales  work.

In 1986 I decided to devote myself full time to carving.  In 1987 I  was commissioned by The Historic Dockyard in Chatham to carve  the figurehead for the H.M.S. Gannet.  The Dockyard Trust which  was in charge of restoring the Victorian sloop had discovered the  original figure head in a museum in the northern German town of Flensburg.




In Paul's Own Words
I went to the Heinsburg Museum and took many measurements  and photos of the original figurehead.  Returning to my  workshop in Chatham, I began carving a new figurehead for the  Gannet from premier-grade Russian Pine.  I selected Russian Pine  for its high resin content which made it very durable against cold  and damp weather conditions. 

My philosophy of conservation and wood preservation lies at the  heart of the work I do in furniture restoration.  I procured the Russian Pine I used for the Gannet Figurehead  from the North Kent Joinery Company, which is also located in the  Historic Dockyard of Chatham.  All the wood I use is Forest  Stewardship Council (F.S.C.) certified.

When I am restoring a valuable antique piece of furniture it is vital  that I use the right kind of wood for the job.  The wood I use must be a  perfect match of the species, colour, grain, and the age of the original  piece.  Therefore I have a large store of old woods salvaged from  pieces beyond restoration which I save for future jobs.

Of the dozens of specialist gouges and chisels I use in my  woodworking business, one modern machine which holds pride of place  on the workbench in my workshop is my lathe.  I regularly  get requests for turned pieces ranging from a simple "knob" for a  piece of antique furniture to spindles for entire staircases.

In the business of restoring old woodwork I often have no choice but to resort to carving  completely new pieces to replace rotten old pieces of mouldings  that are beyond restoration.  I will never forget the ninety-eight  metres (yes folks, 98 metres) of egg and dart moulding I carved for  an old hospital in Hamstead, London which was undergoing  refurbishment as private residences.  For a description of egg & dart moulding, click here.

Over the past 26 years my woodworking and gilding career has  been a mix of different jobs ranging from old to new and from small to  large.  My woodcarving and gilding has been in demand by  architects, interior designers, furniture makers, professional artists,  and conservation departments.

But for 26 years, whatever the size of the job, I have consistently paid as much  care and attention to detail into restoring a dinner table for a  private residence as I put into gilding architectural mouldings for  the British Ambassador's residence in Moscow or when I carved  pieces for the British House of Commons.
Thank you dear Reader for taking the time to visit my site,  

Paul "the woodcarver" Stevens