Bay Area’s Best Stone Carver

By , August 25, 2008

One of my favorite vendors in the SF Bay Area is a stone carver by the name of Nathan Hunt, of Hunt Studios. Nathan grew up in Southwest England. He started his career as a stonemason at the Exeter cathedral when he was only 15. His apprenticeship in the churches and cathedrals of England taught him not only the technical skills required to cut stone, but showed him the very important ideas about classical architecture, scale and proportion. He eventually worked on castles and palaces and also on Princess Diana’s memorial.

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When Nathan is working on a project with me, I never have to worry if it will turn out right. Nor do I feel the need to micromanage his work, as I trust his taste and sense of scale and style completely. How unusual it is for me as a professional designer to find a craftsman who completely “gets” what it is we want to create and executes it so beautifully!

I have worked with Nathan on a number of projects in Atherton, Los Altos Hills and Portola Valley, among others. Here is a photo of work he did on my project in Atherton:

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For a shelf he carved for me for a very rustic wine cellar in Portola Valley, I wanted it to look like a pediment from an old building.

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Look how well it turned out!

Nathan can provide architectural carving services from a wide range of stone and sculptural media, using traditional and modern methods carried down through many generations. Although he is well known for his mantles, he does architectural sculpture in Gothic, Romanesque and other classical traditions, producing custom capitals, fireplaces, fountains, pilasters, panels, and anything else you might want carved specifically for your high-end project.

Hunt arrived here from England in 2001 and he found a place for his studio that was close to the water in what was, at that time, the untraveled industrial section of Bayview. It felt as if I was going to the ends of the earth when I first went to visit him! Now, I leave his workshop, covered in white dust from head to toe and quite happy. Nathan has, once again, created something more beautiful and more appropriate to the project than I had imagined. Pure joy!
Here is an work in progress; a mantle with legs of a carved sunflower tangle arching over the fire opening. AMAZING!

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Recently, he spent a couple of years working on a Moorish-styled home in southern California. Look at the capitals and details for that project.

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Here are some of the doorways and at the end, an exquisite fireplace.

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Do you know anyone who can even begin to do this?

Nathan is a wonderful artist in his own right. He does fine arts works in bronze as well as stone. He has captured his experiences from traveling the world, where he studied all the great architecture he encountered, and he brings it all together for us right here in San Francisco.

Collaborators like Nathan are the life blood of my projects. They help to make my work look just so damn good!
For a shelf he carved for me for a very rustic wine cellar in Portola Valley, I wanted it to look like a pediment from an old building.

Jane Antonacci

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