Gary P: Wood Mouldings Specialist
“Precision is key for a neat finish. Neatly fitted, high quality architraves create a sense of harmony in a room.”
Wood mouldings can be used for architraves, cornices, skirting, and rails.
We met with Gary P who has worked with OLBC on several design and build projects and listed building renovations, including Brook House. Gary runs a wood mouldings company that supplies bespoke timber mouldings all over the UK. Wood expertise runs in his blood. His great grandfather was a carpenter and it was a natural path that Gary followed in his footsteps. Gary has designed each wood moulding design by hand, and bespoke designs are also available. His online store allows clients to choose from over 3000 designs; a reflection of the passion Gary has for driving his business forward. Bespoke designs are also available. Gary supplies decorative timber mouldings to architects, designers, and builders.
When we consider mass production, we assume there will be an element of compromise. However, after spending the afternoon with Gary in his warehouse it was clear to me quality is not something Gary is happy to compromise on. Everything in the warehouse is executed with laser precision.
The types of wood Gary supplies ranges from Oak, Sapele, Tulip, Walnut, Maple and Ash. The wood is imported from California and checked for knots to ensure that wood mouldings are quality controlled.
As I walk around the warehouse with Gary I can see that everything in here has been cleverly engineered and designed by him; from the mouldings templates, to the cutting and wrapping machines. The mouldings are produced by passing planks of wood through a laser sharp cutting tool that spins at 6000 revs per minute. Gary’s brother is a toolmaker and makes car parts for McLaren. Nothing about his success has happened by chance. I can see that when design and logic are paired together the possibilities are endless.
Gary hand sketches his initial designs, and then inputs the chosen design onto CAD. The next stage is to cut the wood using a CNC milling machine.
I ask Gary whether he thinks there is artistry involved in creating the wood mouldings?
Absolutely. Designing a wood moulding is no different to designing buildings; you are using the same design principles. I studied the Greek golden ratio; each design has the correct proportion of concave and convex lines to create a harmonious, balanced design. The Golden Ratio describes the perfectly symmetrical relationship between two proportions. This is approximately equal to a 1:1.61 ratio. Plotting the relationships to this scale provides us with a spiral that can be seen in nature.
As Gary shows me a range of his designs I can see they vary from traditional to contemporary.
“I think there is a general assumption that architraves are functional, but decorative architraves can really make an impact overall look of room.”
It would be short sighted to assume the key to being creative with wood mouldings finishes at the warehouse. The second stage of the design process is carried through by whoever installs the wood mouldings.
“When somebody knows how to manipulate the mouldings, the possibilities are endless.”
“The key to creating beautiful wood work is not to define the mouldings for one set use. They are interchangeable and can be manipulated for the benefit of the installer”
Gary lines up a row of templates like dominoes and creates beautiful patterns and shapes. Something I have noticed in my time interviewing craftsman, is their knowledge has been passed on from generation to generation, and their skills are second nature. Hearing them describe their craft is done with ease, and most importantly with humility. There is a sense of effortless in Gary’s business, everything is second nature to him, and it doesn’t surprise me that his business is growing by thirty percent annually. A sense of dedication and pride is required for every business, but what’s different here is that Gary is the key to the business running smoothly. His eyes and ears are everywhere.
There is no doubt that the interview has been kept to a schedule; I am whisked in and out, like part of a supply chain, providing me with a sense of how efficient Gary is. I get the sense that he never rests; always stepping outside of his comfort zone.
Gary’s experience, combined with the exceptional talent of our team of interior designers and craftsmen, makes our projects as efficient and straight forward as possible, allowing us to transform your home, while remaining sympathetic to its unique historical charm.