Artisan Carves door designs from wildlife to wine
Yakima Valley Business Journal, March 2010.
Naches woodworker Guy Brooke is trying to carve a niche
for his custome carved doors. Brooke is hoping that displaying samples of his
work at events like this month's Central Washington Home and Garden Show will
lead to the first of many ordeers for his hand-chiseled creations.
Brooke hand carves doors with a design of the customer's choosing. His finished
products, he says, give homeowners and business owners a unique way to make a
"In people's homes, their front door is the first thing
guests see and the last thing they see when they leave. That's the same thing
with businesses. It's the first impression and the last impression," Brooke
Brooke began carving doors last fall. Between building the door,
and carving, sanding and finishing it, each door can take up to 80 hours to
The woodworker took his first finished door to ProBuild in
Yakima last December and came to a vendor agreement with the store. ProBuild
now displays four samples of Brooke's custom carved doors on its sales
Although the intricacy of the design and the customer's choice of
wood has some bearing on the cost - with poplar and alder both providing good
value, Brooke says - prices for a carved door start at $1,000. A design he
calls Quail Forest, which includes a carved door and two side pannels, retails
"It's not for your everyday resident," Brooke says. "It is
really, honestly, for the upper class clientele."
While Brooke expects
orders to come mostly from residential customers, businesses may also be
interested in custom doors. A design featuring grapes and a lattice may be
particullarly well suited for the valley's wineries, he says.
became acquainted with woodworking when he learned how to make sandblasted
signs while living in New Mexico 20 years ago. Soon after, while teaching a
college guitar class, he met a student whose busy cabinetmaking business was in
need of some extra help. The student enlisted Brooke to help construct custome
Brooke branched off on his own and continued making furniture
and signs before eventually moving his family to Naches. He hoped to rebuild
his woodworking business in the valley.
"But everybody and their brother
has a table saw around here," Brooke says. "The competition was just too great.
I just couldn't get my foot in the door."
Brooke put woodworking aside
and entered the statuary business, but he missed the creativity of
"It's about making something out of the raw into something
beautiful and seeing the change, and then when you get done with it and you
hand it over to the customer and they really appreciate it," Brooke
Home Show attendees can see samples of Brooke's work in the
ProBuild booth. The event is scheduled for Mar. 19-21 in the