The process begins with a RESEARCH stage to establish why a piece is being commissioned. If possible Duke likes to visit the client at this stage to see where the intended piece will be placed and gather further information including function, dimensions, surroundings, the customer's tastes, and potential budgets and deadlines.
The next stage is DESIGN during which Duke may draw sketches or make maquettes (3D models) and estimates costs. Following a full consultation with the client, Duke will produce a final proposal including a firm quotation. Once the design and cost are agreed, clients are asked for a deposit which is typically one third of the total cost (payable before work begins).
Duke rarely works from rigid blueprints and prefers to leave some of the details to the studio rather than the drawing board. This is especially true with the more sculptural pieces; he finds this a more creative process, allowing the pieces to evolve. No two pieces of wood are ever the same and it is this that he is guided by, being inspired by the unique and infinitely variable features within the timber that he is sculpting. Duke prefers treating the wood with respect rather than imposing on it in a forced way. Clients are always welcome to come and see there commission evolve, but if this is not possible, photos can be emailed to show any progress.
All designs are copyrighted and remain the property of Duke Christie.