About Us

Toms Mission.
Tom getting ready to make a custom fireplace mantel from reclaimed timbersAfter practicing social work for 30 years, Tom decided to expand his love of trees, sculpture, art, history, environmental advocacy, and home decor into one new love - a  business  hand making fireplace mantels out of reclaimed antique historic timbers!  He's been at it now since 1999 and says "it's the perfect business for me to combine all the things I'm most passionate about into one fun job". " I never grow tired working with my hands making beautiful fireplace mantels from what I call 'sacred wood'. "You know", he says, "this wood  was growing in America for centuries, before it became a hundred plus year old barn or a mill...and ....now....wholla....I get to make it into a gorgiously finished mantel..... wow.... that's pretty damn cool....!".  "After ten plus years doing this,  I still think I get a bigger kick out of it then even my most enthusiastic customers ."  " I was always a 'frustrated artist', he says,  but now I can turn  my skill at hand made sculpture into pieces of one of a kind art that has a very cool practical application - what could be better than that! "....".and I still get to work with people helping them design  a very special mantel for their very special home"...."not exactly social work....but kind of close.... if you ask me....just a slighlty different kind......" 

Dan pic for home page 3-07Dan Guion 
Dan  has been an artist for most of his life.  He is also a natural carpenter, designer, fisherman, editor, security officer, and a pretty darn good singer and musician. 
He prides himself on doing high quality woodwork that is creative, well constructed, and beautiful. "If Dan makes it, it will be made right" says Schoeller, Mendota Mantel's owner.
Dan enjoys making 'out of the box' mantels that honor the history of the antique wood he says he's "lucky to work with".  "Dan's positive creative influence in our studio has been inmeasureable - Dan's the real thing" adds Schoeller.
Jock Holmen,
 Woodworker, Artist, Carver, Teacher
Jock Holmen getting ready to carve a custom fireplace mantel
Jock Holmen has dedicated his entire worklife to woodworking and woodcarving, specializing in Scandinavian styles. He was elected in January 2013 as the president of the Viking Woodcarvers Club in Bloomington, MN. 2012 marked his first year as a woodworking judge at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American National Juried Exhibitions in Decorah, Iowa. Jock was awarded his Gold Medal in woodworking in 2009 and earned six ribbons total. He won the First Place Carving award at the 2005 Northern Woods Exhibition in Minneapolis. He has appeared on television in the Twin Cities and Chicago areas, and is a frequent speaker and demonstrator at woodworking and Scandinavian festivals in the Midwest.  Jock teaches carving classes often throughout the entire Midwest. 
Mendota Mantels is truly honored to have such a gifted artisan and teacher carve some of our carved mantels from time to time. 
Jock is enthused about continuing his love of family history and woodcarving by helping our customers design their own "family heritage" mantel - which he has agreed to make.   
Mike Nayman
Artist, Sculptor, Musician,
Song Writer, Recording Artist
Mike Nayman making fireplace mantel Mike began his art and musical career as a young man some many decades ago now.  He continues to present his work throughout the twin cities and midwest region where he routinely receives cave reviews.  Mendota Mantels is proud to present a selective few of his reclaimed wood  sculptures here in this web site.  If we're lucky, he just might agree to give us permission to show even more of his eclectic work in the near future..... We sure hope so....Wish us luck.
Mendota Manetels is also most pleased that Mr. Nayman now and again agrees to help us out by lending his talented hands and mind to some of our custom mantel pieces.  You can be assured that his work is always out of the ordinary, always lovely,  and always a good investment.     
We're most greatful Mike chooses to hang out at the Mendota Mantels Studio now and again.  It helps the studio stay challenged, creative, musical, lively, and like him, a bit eccentric. 
E6638 Maple Creek Road
Black River Harbor,
Ironwood, Michigan, 49938
(formally of Highland Park St. Paul, MN)
Hours:  By Appointment Only - usually 7 days per week.
Please call 651 271 7544 or email   tomschoeller@gmail.com
We ship most anywhere in USA and Canada!  
Contact us at: tomschoeller@gmail.com
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