what a difference a day makes…

Last week I was thinking about scale, proportion and things along those lines, in prepartion for the talk I gave at Deerfield. It went OK, I faked my way through it… there also were one or two posts about dimensions of stock, and how the tree determines some of the decisions a joiner might make. 

 Here’s a box I have carved many times before; even wrote about carving this box front once. http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=439

PF version, Devon box

The original box that I based that on is from Devon; here is the original.

carved box, Devon; detail

This year, Paul Fitzsimmons, the fellow who runs Marhamchurch Antiques in Cornwall sent me photos of two related boxes to this one. (Paul specializes in oak furniture, his site is worth checking from time to time http://www.marhamchurchantiques.com/ )

Yesterday, I started carving a version of one of these “new” ones in the aftern0on, with no prepartion at all.  Scads of school kids around, so I just grabbed a board that looked about right size-wise, and started in. What a mess I made of it…

PF version, first attempt

I knew pretty quickly that I was not happy with this design; so I hurried through it, and even left off after a while. Spent some time last night sketching the design, and working out what the proportions might need to be to fit all the details in. Here, the curves are quite clunky, and have no shape at all.

So I decided to tackle it again today. Using a panel just two inches longer really gave me all the room I needed just about, to get the correct shape. the flowers could be bigger, but I will sleep well regardless.

corrected version

so, while I don’t work from drawings to make the furniture, or to carved the stuff, I still feel that some time spent sketching really can help get the hang of a new pattern…especially helpful on ones like these where all the shapes are free-handed, no compass work at all.  I hoped to shoot the process, but it was too hectic in the shop today. All the layout amounts to a centerline, and margins on all four edges. The entire outline is cut with a V-tool…


Last, tonight it’s happy #5 for the pirate and the princess…


2 thoughts on “what a difference a day makes…

  1. Yeah, I’ll second that about Marhamchurch Antiques, really fabulous early stuff, the only problem is, it’s all english, lol. J/K

    Speaking of early boxes, i am bidding on one tomorrow, its american, shallow relief carved and if i dont win, i am gonna be upset considering the fiasco i recently had on a boston joined chest of drawers.


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