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Robert Lewis was born in 1957 in West Kirby in the Wirral. His first recollection of an interest in woodwork was coming across an old biscuit tin containing carved puppet/marionette limbs and torsos in his grandfather’s garage. Having travelled with his father in the Royal Air Force, the family eventually settled in Suffolk where at the age of seventeen Robert was offered an apprenticeship as a woodcarver with Titchmarsh & Goodwin in Ipswich.

In 1981 Robert decided to work for himself in a bid to expand the variety of carving and to utilise his skills with more technically demanding projects.
During the mid eighties Robert was invited to tender for the restoration and refurbishment of No.10 Downing Street.

The sheer amount of architectural carving involved deemed it necessary for several woodcarvers to be involved.

At the end of the project Robert was invited to carve the Royal Arms (approximately one metre square) which now adorns one of the State Rooms and is one of his most favourite commissions to date.

  Royal Arms, Downing Street

Other projects have included:-

Uppark House, Hampshire: finely carved acanthus leaf pelmets, swags and various mouldings – all in lime.

Windsor Castle: tracery work on the staircase in St. George’s Chapel.

Brentwood Cathedral: Corinthian capitals in the round and square, carved in softwood for gilding. Large brackets with honeysuckle motif, again in softwood for painting.

Danesfield House, Marlow: decorating the new hammer beam ceiling, cornucopias, leaf work, cherubs, dragons, dolphins – all in oak.

Foreign Office, London: oak architraves and door surrounds, large heavily carved and pierced brackets.

St. Mary’s Church, New York: screens containing oak leaves, grape vine motif, various animals and insects – all in lime for painting.

House of Commons, London: restoration of damaged oak crowns and heraldic shields,

Globe Theatre, London: Ionic capitals above the heads of Tragedy and Comedy statues. Abacus on top of Corinthian capitals on main stage.

St. Paul’s, Deptford, London: restoration of finely carved pulpit, serpentine panels with pierced surround of leaf work, marquetry faced and large pierced brackets. Rumour has it that the pulpit may have been the work of a student of the master himself, Grinling Gibbons.

Assembly Rooms, Norwich: from a collection of salvaged remains the restoration, where possible, and the carving of new Ionic capitals.

The Vintners’ Company, London: an ongoing restoration project during the closed period, of the vast amount of carving on site. The Board Room at Five Kings’ House has some of the finest carving to be seen.

Cabmans’ Shelter, Ipswich: closer to home, this beautiful building was, as the name suggests, a shelter for the cabmen of Ipswich. Constructed in 1892, it was moved from the town centre to Christchurch Park a mile away. In the 1990s it was set alight and almost totally destroyed. However, just enough detail remained to make new drawings. The carving consists of dragons, cherubs, cornucopias, acanthus leaves, foliage, leaf work and various beasts.

In contrast to much of the above Robert has undertaken regular commissions of extremely small and detailed carvings for pattern making and castings in bronze or brass.

Robert has also designed and carved several village signs, a fine example of which can be seen in the village of Hengrave, Suffolk, completed in 2006. He has also a great deal of experience in furniture restoration.
Robert’s most recent commission was for a reception desk made from sweet chestnut logs. 

On completion it weighed approximately 1.5 tonnes and involved shaping with a chain saw!

The finished curves and lines are quite spectacular as this picture shows.


Robert welcomes the opportunity to discuss enquiries and commissions on any scale and can be contacted as above.


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