A study in interlacing.

A combination of work and family life has made visits to the shop a rare thing for a while.   A combination of exhaustion and boredom made posts to the blog even rarer.  Such is life.

Got a little carving done the last couple of weekends, working on some new stuff to mix it up a bit.  I call the post a “Study in Interlacing” because each of the three panels I am working on is some kind of over-under type pattern.

On a lark I tried your standard “celtic knotwork” pattern, the kind you bang out on graph paper for fun.  It’s a lot of repetition of cuts, and it’s easy to miss one line if you are not methodical about it.  Layout took the most time, and once that was done, I was able to carve it pretty quickly.  The majority of the work is V-tool work, with a small shallow gouge to take care of under cutting. I used one of my background texture punches to finish it out on the “dots”.

Knotwork and Basket Weave carving

Knotwork and Basket Weave carving

After that I looked a different type of “weave” that I have seen  before in a book on Japanese carving.  It looks like a basket weave, and nearly wrecked by brain trying to lay it out.  The secret is that its NOT a square grid layout.  It’s a two x three layout, almost like a herringbone pattern. Once I got that, I was able to lay in the lines, and get to work.  This one is a lot of flat wide chisel work, and a larger shallow chisel to handle the over under work.  I think it looks great in a raking light.

interlace carving 2

Sides and front of the “Study in Interlace” Box.

Continuing the theme, I drew inspiration from a “pew end” carving that I spotted at Marhamchurch Antiques, a massively great site for medieval carving enthusiasts.  One of the set of four Pew Ends recently sold there had this great over under theme that I wanted to try.  Layout was fairly straight forward if you’ve done a bunch of S-Scroll carving, so I started with the center circle using a pair of dividers and just eyeballing the width of the ring. I used the same line width all throughout to maintain a consistent look.  The two ends are laid out like half of an S-Scroll pattern with the two circles, and then I just connected all the lines and figured out over-under pattern.

Started with a V-Tool I outlined the whole thing, and started in with medium deep gouge to dish out the center of all the lines.  This is where is started to go astray unfortunately.  This is Alder, which fairly soft, and the tight corners chipped out like crazy.  I did the best I could to clean it up with slightly shallower gouge, but I wasn’t able to totally clean it up.  I’m not super pleased, but I’m going to finish it up anyway to get the practice.

The top will likely be Pine or Poplar depending on what I have in the shop.  If I have a big wide poplar piece, I might carve that as well, we shall see.



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