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Handcrafted Wine Barrel Designs for Custom Wine Rooms


Wine barrel carving is an old world wood carving technique that would have disappeared from history permanently had it not been for a group of skilled artisans who decided to continue on the tradition of creating carved wine barrel designs by hand.  These wine inspired wood carvings are made entirely from retired oak wine barrels.

Wine Barrel Carvings from Coastal Custom Wine Cellars

Wine Barrel Carvings from Coastal Custom Wine Cellars

Although brand new barrels can be used in woodworking, most artisans prefer to work with reclaimed wine barrels.  Retired barrels evoke the rich history of winemaking that gives them their unique character and appearance, which can be a great addition to any space.  Wine barrel carvings are high quality pieces of art that can be incorporated into private wine cellars or business environments.

Handcrafted wine barrels are designed to become heirlooms that can be handed down from generation to generation.  Wine barrel designs can be customized to feature intricate and eye-catching patterns such as a clan crest, a coat of arms, or a corporate logo.  The carvings can also depict something as simple as the name of any wine oriented business.

The process of carving a wine barrel starts with the design conceptualization.  If the clients have a design in mind specifically, they can present that idea to the artisan.  If not, the skilled artisan will work with the client to come up with a design that best represents their personality and taste.  The cost of the project is usually determined after the decorative design for reclaimed wine barrels has been finalized.

Wine Barrel Carvings - The Wine Barrel Head

Wine Barrel Carvings – The Wine Barrel Head

The wine barrel carving process starts off by cutting off the top of the wine barrel.  Tenth barrel head carvings are approximately 24 inches in diameter and weigh around 32 pounds.  They are made up of about 4 to 5 inches of surrounding hoops and staves.  In order to prevent the barrel head from falling apart, polyurethane glue is applied to the joints, as well as behind the hoop rings.

To provide additional structural integrity, a round plywood backing is placed to keep the tenth barrel head nice and tight.  A French cleat system is used to mount the barrel head carving on the wall.  French cleats are specifically designed for hanging large and heavy objects on to walls.  They include two angled pieces of lumber that interlock together.

After the design is carved on the barrel head, it is hand sanded to create a smooth surface.  The carved head is then stained and sealed.  The etched surface can be painted upon with whatever color the client may choose.  However, it is highly recommended to keep the paint finishes to a minimum in order to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

Lacquer is applied to the barrel head carving to provide a very polished look and beautiful appearance.  Barrel hoops are restored to good condition by pounding on

Wine Barrel Designs

Wine Barrel Designs

the metal rings to remove dents.  Coating the hoops with paint will provide a new look to the metal as well.

Wine barrel carvings can also be used as serving tables in wine cellars or wine tasting rooms.  The barrel head is mounted on top of barrel staves, which serve as legs and support.  Installing a glass top will help protect the surface of the carved head from stains and scratches.

For most skilled artisans, the amount of time it takes to design and complete a wine barrel carving project is about a month.  This time frame allows artisans to manage the expectations of their clients, and at the same time avoid over-promising and under-delivering on the project.

Wine barrel carvings lend a touch of elegance to any wine cellar or living space.  When mounted on walls, these wine inspired wood carvings become a focal point in wine oriented businesses like tasting rooms, restaurants, and wineries.  They are a tasteful art piece that can certainly impress people from all walks of life.

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