When I teach carving, I always start students off with a simple exercise that involves one tool, striking a row of chopped-out cuts. Chop straight down to incise a curve, then bring the tool back, tilt the handle down, and chop out a chip that meets the first incision. I think the DVD starts the same way… ( http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?grp=1320#new ) here’s photos showing the basics, This time done on a molding. step one is to strike the gouge straight down:
then you tilt the tool’s handle down, and step back – cutting towards the incised mark you just made:
A related pattern is a double row of these, tilted over & seemingly woven one under the other, sort of a braid. We did a few of these in the class I taught at Country Workshops last month. (http://countryworkshops.org/ ) Usually it’s only one or two gouges. And it can be combined many different ways.
For the braid, the layout is the key. A horizontal centerline, and upper & lower margins are the beginning. Then strike spacing with compass, then I mark these spots with a punch, in this case a nail set. Bang bang.
Then strike with a wide but not too curved gouge. The first set of cuts is to the bottom margin, from the left side of the punch. Do the whole row. Then the top set goes the other direction. Flip the gouge around, and have at it. The spacing is determined by the nailset punch marks and the margin.
Now go back & remove the chip. Then take the same gouge, or a slightly narrower one, and make the incised marks that meet the horizontal centerline, and the midst of the chip just removed. Think of this as the S in the braid. You can take a very small gouge & just incise the bit where the braid goes under itself, or leave this off. I hit it, I think it’s worth it. This pattern is ages old, and it immediately sprung to my mind last summer when Jogge Sundqvist showed us a diamond/triangle version he uses in his work. Here are both in drawings, Jogge’s steps in drawing his version are a little different from mine; but he’s really good. :
Here is the drawing for the curved version:
Then I thought of Sebastiano Serlio’s sixteenth-century books on architecture. I use the Yale University Press edition, Sebastiano Serlio On Architecture (1996). There’s some patterns in there that contain versions of similar ideas. These can get quite complex. These Serlio cites as being used in ceilings;
Here’s a crest rail from a wainscot chair I shot from a book, showing a pattern quite similar to Serlio:
And then there are the various guilloches:
These are laid out with a compass, and outlined with a V-tool. Here it’s a box front:
And here is one just cut with the gouges, no V-tool. Compass outline, though.
and then I remembered the first chest I made at the museum, back in 1994. I haven’t looked at this closely in about 5 years. I bet I would carve it differently now. The front stiles are almost direct quotes from Serlio.
Recently, I was cutting some “twist turnings” for a chair I am making, and lo & behold…braids. But I’ll get photos of those later. Meanwhile, go cut some. If you can’t get to cutting them right away, draw some. It’s fun stuff..