heart punch

carving done on Feb 14

I was just looking through some photos I shot on Sunday the 14th Feb, I was shooting a series on carving seventeenth-century patterns…

and found this detail of a punch a friend of mine made about 10 years ago…how appropriate for Valentine’s day.  The punch is based on something Alexander and I saw at the Smithsonian in the early 1990s; a table with drawer. Here is a detail of the carved pattern on the drawer front.

drawer front detail, table from Marshfield
My version of this carving has changed over the years, right now it has less detail than this original…but the scale of mine’s a bit smaller, about 4″ high including the margins. This is a case where I am taking the gist of the pattern & working it to my own interpretation. In other cases, I try to copy each detail of a design; just depends on what I’m after…
(the phrase “heart punch” reminds me of watching wrestling on Saturday mornings, when I was about 10 years old or so…someone must remember Stan the Man Stasiak and his heart punch, a sure show-stopper.)
PF version Marshfield lunettes

7 thoughts on “heart punch

  1. Peter,

    I used to watch Bo Bo Brazil dish out his coco Butt. Is the punch mild steel or hardened? Also, how would the concave area in the center have been excavated?

    George Walker

    • I think there was a master punch made to make the depression in this punch, then it was filed to create the cutting edge…so I guess it’s soft to shape it, then hardened. I will check with the blacksmith I work with, Mark Atchison. I hope to show some of his work here soon…

  2. I have wondered the same thing, so I’m glad George asked. Also, would this happen to be the woodcut artist George Walker? I have really enjoyed his book The Woodcut Artist’s Handbook.

  3. I’ve got it straight now, George. I enjoyed exploring your website, and particularly liked the “warning” page!

    Peter, the blacksmithing discussion leads me to ask about locks. At least from the pieces in various books, it seems that very few period boxes from the 17th century were without locks. I haven’t found much information on these locks themselves. Are there appropriate reproductions available?

    • Funny how things lead. This is coming up very soon…I hinted that I hope to feature Mark Atchison’s reproduction iron work soon on the blog. Mark & I spoke yesterday, and I think this coming week you will see some iron work he has done for me…and yes it includes locks. the reason Dave that you don’t see much about them is because original ones are quite scarce.
      more very soon. PF

  4. Looking forward to seeing some of mark’s work!

    Some punches I’ve made recently seem to “mash” the oak and create a splinter around the depression. Is there a trick to filing these guys, or is it something with the wood itself?

    I’m wondering if the number of growth rings has anything to do with it… The steel has not been hardened. Could that be it?


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