If you’re keen to explore the world of carpentry and want to learn more about the wonderful woodworking industry, then you have most certainly come to the right place. Each week we interview the extremely talented, Andrew Walker, whose skill and passion for the industry is both admirable and riveting.
If you are yet to read our ‘Introducing Woodwork with Andrew Walker’ blog post and wish to become acquainted with the Loughborough-based carpenter, please do check it out!. This week, we discuss some of the coolest commissions Andrew has worked on throughout his career! So please, sit back, relax and enjoy! Who knows, maybe this could spur you on to create something insanely cool yourself!
As Andrew reminisced and recalled his coolest, bespoke commissions, he chuckled, "it’s quite ironic really, that one of my fondest and coolest commissions was for Kenton Cool, my mountaineering hero.
A few years back, I was in Chamonix; and low and behold, my mountaineering hero was stood beside me in the ski lift, with, wait for it... Richard Branston". As the story became increasingly surreal; and I managed to pick my jaw back up from the ground, Andrew explained that he began chatting to his icon, Kenton Cool; and was soon to meet up with him again for a drink!
“Myself and Kenton kept almost crossing paths and missing on another, as we would be on similar expeditions on the same mountain range at the same time on numerous occasions! In fact, at one point, we were both climbing the same Nordic mountain tops…
“We kept missing one another; and it wasn't until Kenton came to Loughborough to give a speech, when I next got chatting to him”, explained Andrew. The talented carpenter then expressed that the conversation turned to work! Kenton showed great interest and began following Andrew’s Work Instagram page, to which he then requested his very own commission.
“Two years ago now, Kenton saw something online that he wanted to replicate and personalise, it was a piece of wood with the family's footprints carved into it! As soon as he sent me the photo, I knew we could accomplish a new and improved version tailored towards his family".
The creative Carpenter detailed. “I found a premium grade knotted oak wood piece, which I then poured resin into and made it look extremely fancy, it was then in Kenton’s hands (ironically) to draw around the family's feet perfectly!
Once I received all of the family members feet outlines (including their dogs paw prints of course); I glued all of their feet outlines onto a board, sprayed it black and then took the feet off, using old fashion tools!
Andrew found himself using the vintage chisels and old carving tools handed down to him from his late Carpentry Coach, Alan Bearsby! “At one point, I started using a blow torch to see what finish it would give the wood, however the natural wood itself looked better”.
“I created an oval top hanger out of stock brass plates so that he could hang the final piece on his wall, I also popped my own AWMAKER logo onto it, as well as the text: ‘The 5 Amigos’. I also created negative vinyl's for the piece and lacquered over the top”.
Since receiving the commission, Kenton has detailed that this piece is now the talking point when anyone first visits their home. “I was really happy with the outcome and the whole process was a learning curve and I loved being able to produce something so personal and unique for someone”.
Since this first commission, Andrew has completed a number of projects for his mountaineering idol, “I have made a walnut desk, which was actually a brilliant example of what you can do with wood, it was like a patch work piece, made up of both big and small pieces intertwined with one another”.
Andrew then explained that he has created a storage cupboard as well as a chopping board; and there has also been a lot of talk about other commissions, “before the Coronavirus Pandemic struck, Kenton wanted me to help build a treehouse for his family”, expressed Andrew.
Since embarking on his solo career, Andrew has created a number of different bespoke products for his growing client base, “I once created a lovely and extremely thoughtful wedding present, from the bride to the groom, it was a personalised wooden storage box for photos of their adventures together!
I used heavily burred and pipped oak and mixed blue dye and resin to create this cool, almost aquatic-looking vibe, I also carved ‘Best Friends’ into this piece and hand stamped it with brass”.
“People often see what I do online and come to me with crazy ideas, which I absolutely love”, Andrew explained. “Sometimes I will start working on something and think to myself 'I’ll put a groove there, change that here'; and the end product just looks so unique”.
“I once created a custom ‘Agent Box’, for a customer! This suave and sophisticated storage box had so many cool features and adds on, I created holes for phone and iPad chargers, I had a shelf that could me moved using a magnet, I also installed expensive hinges and implemented felt on the interior of the box”.
It is evident that Andrew really has created and customised a vast number of cool products for his clients, ensuring personalization, precision and above all pure skill throughout the entire process, from initial consultation to final to the final product!
If you are in awe of Andrews work and would like to find out more about him, check out his website & social media platforms detailed below!
Thank you for reading this post! We hope you have all enjoyed it, if you would like to check out more content like this, then head over to our blog, where we regularly post informative and engaging posts on a number of different topics. If you have any questions or require further information, please don't hesitate to get in touch, we would love to hear from you!
Until next time,
The ToolFreak Team!