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Stuff for my BA submission in August. AKA Welcome to The Dark Side.

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Adam W.

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Currently working on my submission for a BA in carving and I've been working on a carved chest made from one of these, converted by riving.....




IMG_2544.JPG




The front is joined and carved and the lid, back and sides are plain wainscott.

IMG_0041.JPG



With these panels as infill on the front...

IMG_0036.JPG


I made this from construction grade spruce. It's a copy of part of a 15th. century Della Robbia terracotta heraldic shield and will be gessoed and polychromed, which is why it looks a bit rough and ready.



I've got two more frames to make before I'm finished, a walnut Sansovino and a gilded tabernacle, both copies of 16th. century Venetian picture frames.
Fully carved.jpg
 
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Adam W.

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Thank you.

I wanted to try out the spruce frame, as it was a species which was used in Italy during the renaissance for carved picture frames, but is much overlooked as a carving timber today.

Although it was slow grown, it was very soft, but surprisingly it carved well if the tools were sharp enough. The local builders merchant is now suddenly awash with excellent and very cheap carving timber and I'll use the same stuff on the tabernacle frame.
 

Cabinetman

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Stunning work, particularly liked those four infill panels, those medullary rays can cause real problems when they start to lift. Lovely to see that carving like this is still being taught and practised. Ian
 

LJM

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I love this sort of thing; absolutely not my taste, but the skill and craftsmanship are compelling, and there is beauty in that, whatever ones taste
 

Adam W.

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Thank you, I'm glad you like it, and I appreciate that its not to everyones taste. I do it for the historical journey, as I think it's like time travel in the workshop.

Imagine having all your furniture in the house carved like that, with patterns on the walls, ceiling and floor too, plus all the patterned fabric they used at the time.

It should be finished next week, once I've finished the modelling for the Sansovino frame, so I'll post a photo of it all in one piece.

It's been a lot of work, as I converted the timber from stems I selected at the road head and the only power tool I used on the chest was a chainsaw to cut the stems to length before splitting. Luckily I found some super straight and defect free ones in the lot, so the riving went well. Should I post some photos of that ?
 
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Iestynd

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Brilliant work. I'm replying to make sure you get credit for the work.. simply stunning, but also as if you update this thread with more pictures i'd like to see them :)
 

Adam W.

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I'll put together some more photos of the process from tree to chest then.

In the meantime, here's a piece of unfinished coursework. They always seem to be unfinished, as I'm eager to start on the next idea that pops into my head.

BTW. The rheumatic finch is supposed to look like that, all stiff legged.

Gothic Pierced Frieze 12:6:20.JPG
 
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Fitzroy

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Marvellous! Can't see the photo of the shield tho? Everyone loves a rheumatic finch. The more photos of the process the better!
 

Wood&StuffLtd

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Currently working on my submission for a BA in carving and I've been working on a carved chest made from one of these, converted by riving.....




View attachment 108704



The front is joined and carved and the lid, back and sides are plain wainscott.

View attachment 108705


With these panels as infill on the front...

View attachment 108706

I made this from construction grade spruce. It's a copy of part of a 15th. century Della Robbia terracotta heraldic shield and will be gessoed and polychromed, which is why it looks a bit rough and ready.



I've got two more frames to make before I'm finished, a walnut Sansovino and a gilded tabernacle, both copies of 16th. century Venetian picture frames.View attachment 108707
Adam, lovely work. Have you ever seen the work carried out
Currently working on my submission for a BA in carving and I've been working on a carved chest made from one of these, converted by riving.....




View attachment 108704



The front is joined and carved and the lid, back and sides are plain wainscott.

View attachment 108705


With these panels as infill on the front...

View attachment 108706

I made this from construction grade spruce. It's a copy of part of a 15th. century Della Robbia terracotta heraldic shield and will be gessoed and polychromed, which is why it looks a bit rough and ready.



I've got two more frames to make before I'm finished, a walnut Sansovino and a gilded tabernacle, both copies of 16th. century Venetian picture frames.View attachment 108707
Adam, lovely work. Have the ever seen the carving of The Wall, Tasmania? Google it, it is rather splendid. Good lick withe the degree.
 

Adam W.

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The Wall in The Wilderness is lovely work, thanks for pointing that out. Not sure I could last 15 years on one carving, it's impressive.

 

Adam W.

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As promised, I'll post a bit about selecting and converting oak by hand, using only hand tools once the stem is cut into lengths. You'll have to bear with me, as I can only post during coffee breaks, so it'll be chopped into sections.

I live in an area of Jutland which has some amazing oak trees that grow as straight as telegraph poles. The species is Quercus petraea otherwise known as the sessile oak. This grows in abundance in Europe and the British Isles and is sold, once converted as European oak and is easily mixed up with Quercus robur, the English oak or pendunculate oak.

The way to tell the difference between the two trees is to look at the acorn. Pendunculate oaks' acorn grows on a stalk and sessile oaks' acorn doesn't. The other distinguishing characteristic of sessile oak is its straight growth habit.

Sessile oak, also known as Baltic oak in the 17th. century was imported into the port of London in huge quantities after The Great Fire and can be seen in the magnificent interior joinery and paneled halls of the period.

Baltic oak was also used to make furniture and its straight growth, free of defects, lends itself to being split and converted from stems into panels and other furniture components.

I have the fortune to know a tame forester, who looks after an estate which has been cultivating oak and beech for several hundred years, and regularly has timber lots for sale when they harvest during the winter.

Last year they had a sale and I was lucky enough to be he first one to view the lot before it was shipped off the China to be made into Ikea laminate flooring :( (I don't normally use emojis, but that called for one).

It was a decent lot and looked like this......




IMG_2544.JPG


IMG_2542.JPG


IMG_2545.JPG


You can see a "V" chopped into the butt and that's my mark, so that the haulier knows which ones to take when he comes to collect.

I had a very strict selection process and managed to find 7 good ones from the lot. I chose only those which had straight splits in the butt, no twist, no epicormic growth (small shoots from the stem which make the cats paw pattern in sawn oak boards) and no bumps or lumps from earlier trimming of branches.

Delivery day came and they were dropped over the hedge into the garden. I had to chop them in half to get them into the garden, as they were 11M long and took up too much space.

Although there's an obvious large branch on the one in the foreground, the stem between the branches was beautiful and straight and it came at a great price because of it.

IMG_2557.JPG


More later........
 
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RobinBHM

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Lovely work, really lovely.

I love the oak chest.
Where are you doing your carving BA?
I went to Buckinghamshire college, back then they did fine craft - it was great to see the high quality cabinetmaking ( I did a furniture production degree, not an art based course)


I grew up in Edenbridge, the parish church is 900 years old. It has some amazing carved work, all in oak.


Out of interest, how do you feel about your sort of work being machined by CNC?
 

Adam W.

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Lovely work, really lovely.

I love the oak chest.
Where are you doing your carving BA?
I went to Buckinghamshire college, back then they did fine craft - it was great to see the high quality cabinetmaking ( I did a furniture production degree, not an art based course)


I grew up in Edenbridge, the parish church is 900 years old. It has some amazing carved work, all in oak.


Out of interest, how do you feel about your sort of work being machined by CNC?
Thank you.

I'm at The City and Guilds of London Art School in Kennington. I wanted to study historic joinery, but there wasn't a course for that, so I got a place on their historic carving course instead.

I get told off for doing too much joinery study though, but they've got used to me and my funny tools and wooden planes. As long as I do the carving bit as well, I'm left alone to do my thing.

I studied Historic Timber Building Conservation at The Weald and Downland museum before that and I hope to get some work in the large London jobs combining both disciplines, which work together very well.

Most of my work before was in conservation and repair, so there wasn't a call for CNC made stuff, as the emphasis is on making things in the traditional way, using traditional tools and materials. I have to be able to read tool marks and I study lots of 17th. century pattern books to decipher how things were made. Then I do loads of experimenting with method and materials to get it just right before I begin.

So I guess I don't feel threatened by automation at all. Lots of things are being made with 3D printing nowadays but there isn't really a huge demand for it in grade 1 listed buildings.
 
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