True Artistry at its Finest

The workmanship and technique it takes to create an Art Boulle door is nothing short of spectacular — it’s unparalleled in terms of style and artisanship. Here, Nancy Saavedra, CEO, co-founder and creative director of Art Boulle, offers a behind-the-scenes look at craftsmanship.

Photography by Vladimir Kevorkov

Art Boulle is the premier company that specializes in ornamental and architectural metal and woodwork, and CEO, co-founder and creative director Nancy Saavedra exudes passion about the work her company produces, especially its doors.

Named for the Baroque period’s André-Charles Boulle, a designer who worked for the king and was renowned for his exquisite cabinetry, especially in the fi eld of marquetry (also known as “inlay”), Art Boulle is top-notch when it comes to design, quality and craftsmanship — it’s something Saavedra and her team have shown in projects time and again, and it’s something every member of the company ardently takes to heart. Doors are important focal pieces; they act as signature pieces that can convey drama, make a lasting impression and welcome guests into a home. “Each of our creations are completely tailored to reflect the exclusive style of our client’s space. Our skilled artisans instil an unmatched level of quality and attention to detail, bringing to life that perfect custom design,” she says. “At Art Boulle, we are continuously pursuing the knowledge and techniques of past eras and drawing on the incredible technical skills of artisans through history. In a world characterized by mass production, we strive to off er exceptional craftsmanship that is quite rare in today’s world. Providing our clients with bespoke ironwork and woodwork pieces that are tailored to suit their unique requirements is always our priority.” The company prides itself on using the fi nest materials and most skilled artisans, who have perfected their craft through generations. “It’s the unfl inching dedication of our artisans that allow for the design and creation of our most intricate pieces. Every piece our artisans produce is a work of art, bearing the untold story of its creation. With stellar quality and creativity, our pieces are designed to stand the test of time.”

A case in point is this truly magnificent door created for Art Boulle’s client — a homeowner in Oakville, Ont. This 10,000-square-foot home is an architectural marvel with a marvellous contemporary style. “We were commissioned to design and fabricate a unique, artistic signature door that would complement the beautiful architecture by David Smith Designs,” says Saavedra. “The clients wanted a wood door on a pivot so that it would fully open to provide ample space. They wanted something contemporary, craft ed and unique.”

What Art Boulle designed and created was this solid mahogany door, engineered in the centre core with met-al frames to avoid warping. The door is oversized and measures nine feet high and seven feet wide; it measures four inches in thickness, making it extremely impactful. “We matched the stain of the door to the interior tones of the house, which had blacks and greys. The exterior was a stain that matched the exterior fascia,” Saavedra explains. “We used automatic door seals that were customized by Planet, and incorporated the Fritsjurgen Pivot system that supports up to 1,000 pounds in weight. Eight men were needed to install this giant door.”

Saavedra says bricolage, exotic veneers, high-gloss finish, resin wood art, marquetry, shaping, moulding, bending and more form part of Art Boulle’s woodwork craftsmanship. “Unlimited possibilities are released when you consider the invaluable artistry our team can integrate to design and create. Our artisans devote a high degree of skill to perfect each door, from edge to edge. The handwork is perhaps the most extraordinary, as it takes tremendous attention to detail and artistry to perfect small intricate details. Many of our hand-processes include re-forming, grinding, sanding and polishing.”

There’s no doubt about the mark Art Boulle has made on the industry, and this project is just one of hundreds Saavedra and her team have executed with an incredibly high degree of precision, sophistication, first-class design and opulence. When it comes down to it, says Saavedra, “we aim to create the most exquisite and luxurious wood pieces to make every space distinctive, from the entrance door to each piece of furniture, wall ornaments, columns and more.”