Fireplace mantels, for example. I have made a number of fireplace mantels and am always excited when a new one comes along. A mantel is an important focal point for the room containing the fireplace, and since the practical constraints are not great it is an opportunity for an original design. For seven years I lived in a Victorian house in Oakland that had two parlors, each with its own fireplace and mantel, and each mantel was a study in decorative variety, with the effect defined more by the multiplicity of forms than by any particular visual element.
The projects illustrated on this page give an idea of the variety of projects that have come my way over the years. Outdoor gates are always interesting, especially since they have to stand up to the weather. Gates, doors and banisters generally make a subtler appeal to the viewer than a table or cabinet, since they are more closely integrated into the architecture.