Saturday, November 26, 2022

Local woodworker is cut out for job

Trees inspire artistry within Argyle resident Rich Mangham. “We go in the woods and find the nastiest, most twisted, gnarly half a tree,” said Mangham, 47, of A’Dreyia Studios who creates unique tables and fireplace mantles from his discoveries.

“Some of these trees are incredible – like nothing you’ve ever seen,” he said. “God has blessed me to give me the ability to see the piece in the tree before I cut it out. . . It blows the carpenters away.”

Mangham grew up in Argyle. He moved to Dallas where he owned a recording studio. Then he spent time on the east coast prior to returning to the area in the mid-1990s. Before opening A’Dreyia Studios, Mangham worked custom paint jobs, remodeling projects and historic restorations.

“I really enjoyed that – because it is so hard to do,” said Mangham who was quick to say that he is not a carpenter. “Not trained to do anything to be honest. I see these things in the wood.”

Inspiration is all around him at home, too.  A’Dreyia Studios, Mangham’s home studio, is on four acres on Frenchtown Rd. enveloped by giant oak trees.

“It’s loaded with trees . . . really tranquil,” he said.

Growing up, Mangham knew the previous family that lived in the small home built in 1949 that he shares with wife Mitzi and sons: Zeb, 9 and Jazz, 18. Mangham’s mother and sister also live in Argyle.

It took 1,400 hours, about a year, for Mangham to complete his latest work – a commissioned table made of mesquite. A’Dreyia Studios along with Marker Ranch and Vineyard recently held an unveiling at a private reception and wine tasting to mark the moment.

The table, made of solid mesquite, has a two inch thick top and is 15 feet long, four feet wide and weighs 1,700 pounds. When the top was finished, it took six men to flip it and ten men to lift the table out of Mangham’s shop.

“I spend a lot of time on everything I do. That table will never come apart. It’s a solid wood table like (the kind) built 100 years ago.”

“I’m real picky about the trees – I mainly use mesquite,” he added.  “Working with mesquite means everything we do is sizeable. Mesquite is heavy – not user friendly – but so beautiful. It’s an heirloom that can be passed down for generations.”

A local couple recently handed Mangham the keys to their house and said “we’ll gone for three weeks – do whatever you want.”

He transformed their living room and dining room space by retexturing walls, painting and adding two fireplace mantles – one on each side of a see-through fireplace. The mantle in the living room is made of cedar and the one in the dining room is mesquite.

One of the project’s most unique features is a table that looks like a tulip.

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