Popular Woodworking 2009-06 № 176, страница 12

Popular Woodworking 2009-06 № 176, страница 12

Arts & Mysteries

Low-relief Carving

Tips and tricks from a master.

I 'm building a Philadelphia Chippendale chair and I've gotten to the stage where I muM start carving, I've horn hcsitalinghcvauserm not a confident carv er. So I've been practk-ingand Icamingall lean from Philadelphia Museum of Art conservator Christopher Storb Storb. who carved a Philadrlphia-styk ball and claw foot for the February 2009 issue («174) tsa true master carver.

As I see it. there arc two distinct types ofcarvinguscdon 18th-century furniture The basic three-dimensional sculpture is one son of carving. In my last article. I sawed out the back splat and shaped the back legs of the Chippendale chair I'm making. I carved areas too tight for my saw and used my gouges to round over the back of the crest rail. This son of work, like shaping a cahnole leg. is sculptural work.

The other type of carving is called "low-relief" carving Thisisshallowcarving. often not deeper lhanIl is used to decorate surfaces Chairmakerslnthe IHthcentury decorated fiat and curved surfaces with shells, leaves, scrolls and other design ek-ments. Specific elements used, and their locations, varied throughout the period.

Though I may not be good at it, I'm comfonabk with basic sculptural carving I find the ball-and-claw and basic cabriole Icgcarving formulaic. There are basic steps to follow, specific layout lines and specific tools to use. I asked Storb for some advice about how to approach the low-relief carving for my chair.

The answer I got didn't inspire me with confidcnce -1 wasn't hearing the step-by-Mepinuructions I had hoped for. My guess is that low-relief carving is also formulaic in nature. But I dont know those formulas. All woodworkings really just employinga set of techniques to solve a given problem

XUsterful tsotk. Ihti H the \sork of muter cvrvtv (hriuopher Sloth. IheC-scro/hjndjcjnthus leafcarving decorjdng the knee of this <7iarr Ipg represent some of the most difficult .tod prized style of wori done in the IHth century.

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