A great relief carving for beginners and bosses alikeWatch Peter Follansbee carve a diamond and floral pattern in real time
If you’re at all interested in carving, I’d bet good money your studies will quickly bring you to Peter Follansbee. He is, as far as I can tell, the only woodworker specializing at a high level in 17th-century carving—a very identifiable style—and teaching it around the country. He’s a wealth of information, so it’s both heart-warming and bonkers how much he gives away for free. For example, his blog has been running consistently since July 2008. More recent are his YouTube videos, like this lozenge panel, which proved greatly helpful when I was researching long, vertical patterns to adapt for a pair of interior doors. I like to think I’m pretty familiar with this style’s techniques, but I ended up watching the entire video twice and then some refresher segments just to home in on techniques. For the beginner, the pattern’s simply entry-level V-tool work, punched cuts with gouges, and order of operations. For more advanced carvers, watch where Follansbee intersects V-tool lines, how he chooses and orients gouges to create leaves that flow from bulbous to subtle. For everyone, listen to how hard he hits his dang mallet. No joke, the next time I shoot with him I’m wearing hearing protection. But those heavy wails are what give his carving its wonderful depth, and therefore shadow, in such hard oak. My carvings aren’t nearly deep enough yet, but luckily I have Peter’s videos to help that.
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