new Devon pattern
new Devon pattern

I have been working on some carving/photography lately.  A few projects coming up in 2009 will feature some of these carvings. The one above is a chest rail; once again a motif borrowed from some furniture from Devon, c. 1660s and beyond. The same general source is used for this “scissor” motif, below, which I used on a chest I built this past spring. This is a close detail; the motif is about 3″ high in reality.


Here’s a quick view of the beginning of a carving. You can see the panel is nailed to a backboard of pine. The pine board is in turn held to the bench with a pair of holdfasts (not shown in this view). I’m using a V-tool to outline the pattern; after using a compass to define the arch at the top of the panel.

carving outline with V-tool
carving outline with V-tool
Here is the finished outline, mostly. So to this point, it’s been cut with only one carving tool &  a mallet. Tomorrow I hope to shoot the rest of this carving.
finished outline
finished outline

9 thoughts on “carving

  1. thanks for the notes, James & Don. In order; James, I’m glad you like the carving – I don’t see butterflies, but if that’s what you see, then that’s what they are. I was thinking about some version of that carving for part of your box stool.

    Don, usually for layout my tools include a compass, awl, square and ruler. The forms for these carvings are freehand within a scribed area, (centerlines, margins, etc)for instance, the one labelled “new devon carving” above is about 36″ long, and there were several rectangles described on the board. Then a zigzag line running up one rectangle and down the next alternates along the stock. the rest was freehand.

  2. Peter,

    Aside from the fact we do not have old groth wood. What is the biggest panel you have rived out of a tree for furniture?


  3. there have been times when I’ve got panels about 12″ wide radially from a log. that means the log was almost three feet in diameter. Around here when logs are that big, they usually are not grown in the woods. this results in wider growth rings, less even and consistent grain in the wood. Generally the good panels I get are about 10″ wide at best.

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