The Sign Carver: Celebrating 22 years of Craftsmanship

Photographed: A carved oak Barrel end for Groot Constantia, Constantia

Carved Wooden Signs

The Sign Carver takes on a wide variety of projects, great & small, and approaches each new project with passion & the utmost attention to detail.

Carved Wooden Signs

Our hand carved wooden signs have a timeless charm that never goes out of style.

Whether you have a taste for simple elegance or decadent detail, the Sign Carver beautifully crafts each wooden sign with care and precision, delivering a high quality product that is very durable.

Our outdoor signs are durable enough to mature gracefully while other signs are fading and crumbling in the harsh African sun.

ORDER A SIGN

Crail Cottage - Carved Wooden Signs

Crail Cottage, Cape Town

Lettering

The Sign Carver uses three methods for Lettering

  • Incised (engraved) lettering
  • Relief lettering where background is carved away
  • Lettering painted on a flat surface

The Sign Carver has many lettering styles for you to choose from including a wide range of scripts and flourishes, serif and sans serif typefaces and Old English, Old German as well as whacky scripts, Hebrew, Eastern and Cyrillic scripts.

Types of Signs

  • Large wooden signs
  • Wall mounted signs
  • Directional Signs
  • Swing Signs
  • Double sided Signs
  • Timber Post Signs
Shop signage for African Kirikara by the Sign Carver

African Kirikara Arts & Craft, Hout Bay

Why should I choose a Carved Wooden Sign?

There is an unmistakable crafted feel as each sign is carved with hand held tools.

The Sign Carver has made beautiful hand carved signage for:

  • Restaurants, Vineyards & Pubs
  • Libraries, Businesses & Shop fronts
  • Hotels, Game Farms & Guest Houses
  • Schools, Churches & Synagogues
  • Private Residences, Holiday Homes & Yachts

The Sign Carver lovingly crafts each wooden sign with care and precision, delivering a high quality product that is durable and beautiful.

Groot Constantia barrel sign, by the Sign Carver

Groot Constantia Estate, Cape Town

Signature Signs

A carved wooden home sign is your signature, it speaks of your appreciation of craftmanship and quality. Each sign is carved with hand held tools, achieving a classic look that a machine cut sign simply cannot match.

Whether for a Guesthouse, hotel, restaurant, game farm or private residence the Sign Carver has skills and knowledge to design and manufacture something totally unique; a signature hand carved sign for which you will be recognised and remembered.

SEE THE GALLERY

Swaanswyk House - Carved Wooden Signs

Swaanswyk House, Tokai

Finish

You are free to choose any finishes for your sign, including:

  • Black or dark stained lettering / elements, on light wood finish
    This is the most affordable of the engraved signs.
  • White or light painted letters on a dark wood finish
    This has an elegant classical look.
  • Painted Signs
    With the signboard in a light or dark paint and a contrasting colour in the lettering and decorative elements.
  • Gold and silver leaf
    Gold and silver leaf can add a high quality and striking effect to lettering and decorative elements
  • Plain varnished
    For a subtler look, it’s interesting to note that a carved letter casts beautiful shadows, and will catch the light even when a sign is unpainted.
  • Faux aged
    From time to time, clients prefer an aged look and the Sign Carver is able to give signs a naturally distressed look, by using a combination of scouring, lime washes, wood stains, as well as a few other secret tricks to achieve the desired effect.

they really are stunning!

We adore our new Rocketbar & Tree House Eatery signs. Thank you so much – they really are stunning!

Silvermist Mountain Lodge & Organic Wine Estate, Cape Town

Request a Quotation

Request a quotation for a hand carved wooden sign

  • Upload anything here including your logo, drawings or images of signs that you like
    Drop files here or
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Order your custom Sign

Request a quotation for a hand carved wooden sign for your home or business. Each sign is carved with hand held tools, achieving a finish that machine cut signs simply cannot match.

signage-collage

Coats of Arms

The Sign Carver takes on a wide variety of projects, great & small, and approaches each new project with passion & the utmost attention to detail.

Coats of Arms

A Coat of Arms is a symbol of history and honour, and hand carved, becomes a precious family heirloom to be treasured & handed down the generations.

An ideal gift, it represents the importance of family and tradition: This craft is becoming ever rarer in our fast paced world.

The Sign Carver has made Coats of Arms of all sizes for Wine farms, University residences, Schools and families.

You can choose to have your Coat of Arms carved in wood or cast in cement resin or bronze.

ORDER A COAT OF ARMS

Family Coat of Arms hand carved by the Sign Carver

The Lee Family, Pretoria

Types of Coats of Arms

  • Carved in wood with plain wood finish (varnish)
  • Carved wood with colours and metal leaf
  • Carved on an oak barrel end (plain finish)
  • Carved in hardwood (suitable for outdoors)
  • Cast in cement one off (suitable for outdoors)
  • Cast in bronze (suitable for outdoors)
  • Multiple copies cast in cement, resin (indoors) or bronze
marine-emblem

Marine Corps Emblem

A cultural foundation for your business

The Sign Carver has made beautiful Coats of Arms for:

  • Families
  • Wine farms
  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • University Residences

The Sign Carver beautifully crafts each Coat of Arms with care and precision, delivering a high quality product that is very durable.

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The Fourie Family, Weltevreden Park

An Ideal Family Gift

Owning or giving a gift of a beautifully hand carved Coat of Arms shows your appreciation for a craft that is becoming rarer in our fast paced world, an item made lovingly by hand.

The Coat of Arms is a symbol of history and honour, a family heirloom to be handed down to future generations. It is a valuable and prized symbol to someone who values their culture and family origin.

SEE THE GALLERY

coat-of-arms02

The De Witt Family, Johannesburg

they really are stunning!

We adore our new Rocketbar & Tree House Eatery signs. Thank you so much – they really are stunning!

Silvermist Mountain Lodge & Organic Wine Estate, Cape Town

Request a Quotation

Request a quotation for a coat of arms

  • Upload any drawings or images that are relevant
    Drop files here or
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Order your Coat of Arms

Request a hand crafted coat of arms for your family or business. Each item is lovingly crafted with hand held tools, achieving a finish that machine cut materials simply cannot match.

gallery-coats-of-arms

Sculpture

The Sign Carver takes on a wide variety of projects, great & small, and approaches each new project with passion & the utmost attention to detail.

Sculpture

Sculpture is the main passion and driving force behind the Sign Carver, who can often be found ankle-deep in woodchips, trying to find that wonderful third dimension in a chunk of wood or stone.

In addition, the Sign Carver has extensive experience with casting of sculptures in bronze, cement and resin and collaborates with mould makers and foundries.

Not sure which material to choose? We will happily advise you on the best application to suit your particular project.

ORDER A SCULPTURE

wise-man

Wise old man, carved from a piece of Clanwilliam Cedar

Wood sculpture.

Wood, unlike clay, has a special beauty in its grain, colour and warmth which the Sign Carver is drawn to. The Sign Carver has works in many sizes and has sculptures scattered around South Africa and the globe.

Do you have a piece of wood in mind for a sculpture? A wood with a very marked grain pattern is more suitable for simple shapes as the pattern will detract from features on a detailed piece of work. For detailed work such as figures and faces, a timber, either dark or light, with a feint grain is best as the detail won’t be overpowered by the grain pattern.

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A pair of bronze Lions guard the entrance to a boutique hotel, St James, Cape Town

Available to order

You can own one or a pair of lions in bronze to guard the steps of your business or private residence as photographed here (75cm / 29.5 inches tall). These regal beauties are cast in bronze with the option of customising them with a monogram or coat of arms on the ball (under the paw).

Life size sculpture by the Sign Carver

In process: One of Five life sized Persian figures for a shopping centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2011)

Cast sculpture in Bronze, cement or resin.

From one off casts in cement to multiple cop casting, the Sign Carver has experience and knowledge of what is required to undertake sculpture that requires various forms of casting.

All cast sculpture starts out in clay or wax from which a mould is made. A one off cast of a sign or coat of arms has a solid mould which is broken off once the cement is set. Multiple copies in cement or resin and bronze castings of either signs, Coats of Arms or sculpture, require a silicone mould.

The Sign Carver beautifully crafts each sculpture with love, care and precision, delivering a high quality product that will last a lifetime.

Religious Sculpture

The Sign Carver crafts custom religious sculpture, religious relief wood carvings, and sculpture restorations in wood, cement or plaster.

Each sculpture is a custom designed original, made according to the client’s specific style and preferences.

Whether for a church, synagogue, educational facility or a private residence, the Sign Carver has skills and knowledge to design and manufacture something totally unique; a custom designed and beautifully crafted sculpture in a style that is suited to your specific needs and requirements.

From a life-sized carved wooden Corpus sculpture, Madonna and Child and Saints, to sets of Stations of the Cross and Tree of Life murals we are inspired to be able to provide this important imagery.

SEE THE GALLERY

Crucifix, by the Sign Carver

Small crucifix for a church in Constantia

Stone sculpture.

Ivan Hunter has experience carving softer varieties of stone with hand tools, including slate, marble, serpentine and Zimbabwean opal stone. Work has included a hand-carved slate plaque for an historical graveyard in Stellenbosch and various artistic pieces.

He also teaches a weekly hour and a half lesson in stone carving to a senior class at a school in Cape Town.

they really are stunning!

We adore our new Rocketbar & Tree House Eatery signs. Thank you so much – they really are stunning!

Silvermist Mountain Lodge & Organic Wine Estate, Cape Town

Request a Quotation

Request a quotation for custom sculpture

  • Drop any relevant drawings or images in here
    Drop files here or
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Order your custom sculpture

Request a quotation here and own your next piece of art in the round. Each sculpture is carved with hand held tools, achieving a finish that machine cut signs simply cannot match.

gallery-sculpture

Other Work

The Sign Carver takes on a wide variety of other projects, including architectural elements, and sculpture restoration as well as furniture restoration.

Architectural Elements

For the ultimate personal touch, you can introduce hand carved wooden design elements right into the features of your home.

The Sign carver occasionally collaborates with Interior decorators when a project requires a touch of subtle sophistication that only true craftsmanship can deliver.

Interior designers enjoy the freedom of being able to choose any pattern under the sun and the warm scent of hand carved wood simply oozes luxury into a home.

GET IN TOUCH

Architectural elements in a home, by the Sign Carver

architectural-1

Restoration

When antique furniture or beloved plaster sculptures get damaged, they lose their value and their charm.

Don’t toss them aside or try to replace them. Instead, call on the Sign Carver to restore these treasures to their former glory.

With a careful eye and attention to detail, The Sign Carver is able to replicate and restore even the finer details and embellishments .

SEE THE GALLERY

Restoration of plaster sculpture by the Sign carver

Get In Touch with the Sign Carver

Whether you would like to get in touch or make an enquiry, compliment us on our work or just say hello, we would love to hear from you.

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Who is the Sign Carver?

A Graphic designer by trade, Ivan Hunter bravely left the humdrum of his advertising career in 1994 to pursue his passion of sculpture and carving. In the transition from pixels to woodchips, Ivan showed great talent and craftsmanship and eventually decided to launch the Sign Carver business.

Since then, the Sign Carver has never looked back and this year, we celebrate 22 years in this exciting trade.

The Sign Carver lives by his mantra "Follow your joy" and by the looks of it, he's always happiest amongst a pile of woodchips.

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