Video: Watch Peter Follansbee carve a shallow relief pattern
You didn't get to visit Peter's shop with Barry and watch him carve in person, but this is almost as good. Plus you can wear your pajamas.
Hey, Barry NM Dima here. I was the photographer for Peter Follansbee’s Master Class, “17th-century relief carving.” In that article, Peter takes you step-by-step through two carving patterns. If you’re familiar with his work, that may seem to just scratch the surface, but those patterns, from layout to execution, are foundational when it comes to executing other 17th-century relief carvings from England and New England. That article has everything you need, including drawings by Peter, to accomplish your own versions of the patterns and get started with that style of work.
But “everything you need” doesn’t mean “everything you may want.” That’s where this video comes in. In it, Peter carves the S-curve pattern, the first pattern in the Master Class and a very common motif in his work. When I watched him carve in person, I was struck by the rhythm of his cuts, the power of his mallet blows (I even wanted hearing protection), and his body movement. These details are key for a successful carving, and are things I focus on when trying to carve in this style. So while I’ve lamented before that you don’t get to see what I see on a shoot, this time you get to be front and center, just like me.
The video shouldn’t replace the photos, though—or at least it doesn’t for me. The way I use them is to read the article on my sofa, watch the video outside of the shop, and then keep the article next to me at the bench. This way I become familiar with the entire process before I ever pick up a gouge, but I have the Master Class near me as a handy cheat sheet.