some more carvings

Here a just a few shots of the recent carvings I mentioned in earlier posts…

Thanksgiving box front

This panel will be a box front; it’s the one I carved on Thanksgiving Day. The shot I posted the other night was just the incised beginnings. I was not able to take any photos of the work itself, so this is just the finished panel. Art historians like to call this sort of pattern “strapwork” – I have carved variants on this design for over ten years now & I still enjoy them. The possibilities are probably endless. This one’s red oak. Some details follow, one with a ruler, and one showing a close detail, including the small pinwheels that are trickiest to cut. They want to pop off when I come in to chop the gouge-cuts in them.

Thanksgiving w ruler

This panel is laid out with a horizontal and vertical centerline. Then the spacings are marked off the vertical line. Some compass work defined parts; and the gouges and chisels marked the details. No V-tool at all. Here’s an old photo of an earlier version, showing the gouge defining the pattern.

defining the pattern w gouge


To contrast, here is the panel I showed last week; now oiled. This design is freehand, and almost all marked with a V-tool. A little compass work to set out some of the flowers, but only in a general sense. Even those, I just eyeballed where to place the centerpoint to mark out the circles.

Freehand box front

So starting next week I plan to include some shop photos of works in progress. Stay tuned.

Whoops. I meant to show this as well…the view out the back windows. Hard to resist. Hard to get work done around the place sometimes…

backyard view, Dec 2010

5 thoughts on “some more carvings

  1. Hi Peter,

    You once wrote in a prior blog post words to the effect that, “beginning carvers don’t incise deeply enough.” Well, this T-Day carving of yours seems to go a little bit deeper than others — or perhaps it’s the shadows. But it begs the question, how deep is “good” and how shallow is “not good”? Are there any general guidelines? Are there any techniques that you practice to maintain a consistent depth of cut throughout a single carving? Just wondering.

  2. All of your carving is fascinating, but I’m always drawn to the pinwheels. They tell the story of how cooperative the wood is. They seem to be an excellent element for teaching one to slice rather than shear, and to visit the strop often. I’m surprised that so many survive. Beautiful work!

    Great backyard too. I see you’ve been spared (so far) the ice which will drive some birds to other parts.

  3. Hi Peter,

    I love this “strapwork” carving…It looks like the piece in the Bowdoin college Museum of Art. Question is is it Searle or Dennis?




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