WOOD-CARVING DESIGN AND WORKMANSHIP

BY GEORGE JACK

WITH

DRAWINGS BY THE AUTHOR
AND OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS

NEW YORK
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
1903

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Copyright, 1903,

By D. Appleton and Company

All rights reserved
Published October, 1903

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Contents

  Page
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS  
CHAPTER I 25
PREAMBLE

Student and Apprentice, their Aims and Conditions of Work—Necessity for Some Equality between Theory and Practise—The Student's Opportunity lies on the Side of Design

CHAPTER II 31
TOOLS

Average Number of Tools required by Carvers—Selection for Beginners—Description of Tools—Position when in Use—Acquisition by Degrees

CHAPTER III 42
SHARPENING-STONES—MALLET AND BENCH

Different Stones in Use—Case for Stones—Slips—Round Mallet Best—A Home-Made Bench—A Makeshift Bench—Cramps and Clips

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CHAPTER IV 48
WOODS USED FOR CARVING

Hard Wood and Soft Wood—Closeness of Grain Desirable—Advantages of Pine and English Oak

CHAPTER V 52
SHARPENING THE TOOLS

The Proper Bevel — Position of Tools on Oilstone — Good and Bad Edge — Stropping — Paste and Leather — Careless Sharpening — Rubbing Out the Inside — Stropping Fine Tools — Importance of Sharp Tools

CHAPTER VI 63
"CHIP" CARVING

Its Savage Origin—A Clue to its only Claim to Artistic Importance—Monotony better than Variety—An Exercise in Patience and Precision—Technical Methods

CHAPTER VII 69
THE GRAIN OF THE WOOD

Obstinacy of the Woody Fiber—First Exercise in Grounding—Description of Method—Cutting the Miters—Handling of Tools, Danger of Carelessness—Importance of Clean Cutting

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CHAPTER VIII 82
IMITATION OF NATURAL FORMS

Difficulties of Selection and Arrangement - Limits of an Imitative Treatment - Light and Distance Factors in the Arrangement of a Design - Economy of Detail Necessary - The Word "Conventional"

CHAPTER IX 88
ROUNDED FORMS

Necessity for every Carver Making his own Designs - Method of Carving Rounded Forms on a Sunk Ground

CHAPTER X 96
THE PATTERNED BACKGROUND

Importance of Formal Pattern as an Aid to Visibility - Pattern and Free Rendering Compared - First Impressions Lasting - Medieval Choice of Natural Forms Governed by a Question of Pattern

CHAPTER XI 103
CONTOURS OF SURFACE

Adaptation of Old Designs to Modern Purposes - "Throwing About" - Critical Inspection of Work from a Distance as it Proceeds

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CHAPTER XII 108
ORIGINALITY

Dangers of Imposing Words - Novelty more Common than Originality - An Unwholesome Kind of "Originality"

CHAPTER XIII 110
PIERCED PATTERNS

Exercise in Background Pattern—Care as to Stability—Drilling and Sawing out the Spaces—Some Uses for Pierced Patterns

CHAPTER XIV 115
HARDWOOD CARVING

Carvings can not be Independent Ornaments - Carving Impossible on Commercial Productions - The Amateur Joiner - Corner Cupboards - Introduction of Foliage Definite in Form, and Simple in Character—Methods of Carving Grapes

CHAPTER XV 137
THE SKETCH-BOOK

Old Work Best Seen in its Original Place—Museums to be approached with Caution.—Methodical Memoranda—Some Examples—Assimilation of Ideas Better than Making Exact Copies

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CHAPTER XVI 149
MUSEUMS

False Impressions Fostered by Fragmentary Exhibits—Environment as Important as Handicraft—Works Viewed as Records of Character—Carvers the Historians of their Time

CHAPTER XVII 153
STUDIES FROM NATURE—FOLIAGE

Medieval and Modern Choice of Form Compared - A Compromise Adopted - A List of Plant Forms of Adaptable Character

CHAPTER XVIII 161
CARVING ON FURNITURE

Furniture Constructed with a View to Carving—Reciprocal Aims of Joiner and Carver—Smoothness Desirable where Carving is Handled—The Introduction of Animals or Figures

CHAPTER XIX 180
THE GROTESQUE IN CARVING

Misproportion Not Essential to the Expression of Humor—The Sham Grotesque Contemptible—A True Sense of Humor Helpful to the Carver

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CHAPTER XX 191
STUDIES FROM NATURE—BIRDS AND BEASTS

The Introduction of Animal Forms — Rude Vitality better than Dull "Natural History"—"Action"—Difficulties of the Study for Town-Bred Students—The Aid of Books and Photographs—Outline Drawing and Suggestion of Main Masses—Sketch-Book Studies, Sections, and Notes—Swiss Animal Carving—The Clay Model: its Use and Abuse

CHAPTER XXI 205
FORESHORTENING AS APPLIED TO WORK IN RELIEF

Intelligible Background Outline Better than Confused Foreshortening—Superposition of Masses

CHAPTER XXII 214
UNDERCUTTING AND "BUILT-UP" WORK

Undercutting as a Means and as an End; its Use and Abuse—"Built-up" Work—"Planted" Work—"Pierced" Work

CHAPTER XXIII 219
PICTURE SUBJECTS AND PERSPECTIVE

The Limitations of an Art not Safely Transgressed—Aerial Perspective Impossible in Relief—Linear Perspective only Possible in a Limited Way

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CHAPTER XXIV 223
ARCHITECTURAL CARVING

The Necessity for Variety in Study—A Carver's View of the Study of Architecture; Inseparable from a Study of his own Craft—Importance of the Carpenter's Stimulating Influence upon the Carver—Carpenters' Imitation of Stone Construction Carried too Far

CHAPTER XXV 234
SURFACE FINISH—TEXTURE

Tool Marks, the Importance of their Direction—The Woody Texture Dependent upon Clearness of Cutting and Sympathetic Handling

CHAPTER XXVI 240
CRAFT SCHOOLS, PAST AND PRESENT

The Country Craftsman of Old Times—A Colony of Craftsmen in Busy Intercourse—The Modern Craftsman's Difficulties: Embarrassing Variety of Choice

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CHAPTER XXVII 249
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF COOPERATION BETWEEN BUILDER AND CARVER

The Infinite Multiplicity of Styles—The "Gothic" Influence: Sculpture an Integral Element in its Designs—The Approach of the so-called "Renaissance" Period—Disturbed Convictions—The Revival of the Classical Style—The Two Styles in Conflict for a Time; their Respective Characteristics Reviewed—Carvers Become Dependent upon Architects and Painters—The "Revival" Separates "Designer" and "Executant"

Notes on the Collotype Plates 265
The Collotype Plates 271
Index 305

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

  Page
A Suggestion from Nature and Photography Frontispiece
Fig. 1. Wood Carving Tools: Gouges and Chisels 34
Fig. 2. Wood Carving Tools: Gouges and Other Tools 35
Fig. 3. Wood Carving Tools: Grounding Tool 39
Fig. 4. Wood Carving Tools: Stone and Case for Stone 43
Fig. 5. Home Made Wood Carving Bench 46
Fig. 6. Temporary Wood Carving Bench 46
Fig. 7. Wood Carving Tools: Cramps or Clamps 47
Fig. 8. Wood Carving Tools: Sharpening the Chisel 52
Fig. 9. Wood Carving Tools: Good Edge and Bad Edge 54
Fig. 10. Wood Carving Tools: Sharpening The Veiner 58
Fig. 11. Wood Carving Tools: Sharpening The Veiner 2 69
Fig. 12. Wood Carving Pattern: South Seas 73
Fig. 13. The Wood Carving Design 73
Fig. 14. Another Wood Carving Design 74
Fig. 15. Carving the Margin, Mitre, Circle 79
Fig. 16. Wood Carving Design Practice 88
Fig. 17. Carving Section View 91
Fig. 18. Carving Section View 94
Fig. 19. Forming a Rounded Surface - Plums 94
Fig. 20. Foliage on Byzantine Sculpture 96
Fig. 21. Foliage on Gothic Sculpture 100
Fig. 22. Contours - Running Surface 103
Fig. 23. Contours - Practice Piece 105
Fig. 24. Carving Pierced Patterns - Practice Piece 111
Fig. 25. Definite Design 113
Fig. 26. Simple Carving 113
Fig. 27. Carved Bread Plate 1 116
Fig. 28. Carved Bread Plate 2 119
Fig. 29. 120
Fig. 30. 120
Fig. 31. 120
Fig. 32. 123
Fig. 33. 123
Fig. 34. CARVING IN PANELS OF FIG 33 126
Fig. 35. 127
Fig. 36. 127
Fig. 37. 131
Fig. 38. 131
Fig. 39.(a) 131
Fig. 39.(b) 133
Fig. 40. 133
Fig. 41. 133
Fig. 42. 135
Fig. 43. 135
Fig. 44. 137
Fig. 45. 137
Fig. 46. 139
Fig. 47. 146
Fig. 48. 146
Fig. 49. 146
Fig. 50. 146
Fig. 51. 146
Fig. 52. 145
Fig. 53. 161
Fig. 54. 166
Fig. 55. 166
Fig. 56. 168
Fig. 57. 170
Fig. 58. 174
Fig. 59. 174
Fig. 60. 176
Fig. 61. 178
Fig. 62. 180
Fig. 63. 183
Fig. 64. 187
Fig. 65. 187
Fig. 66. 190
Fig. 67. 190
Fig. 68. 198
Fig. 69. 200
Fig. 70. 202
Fig. 71. 208
Fig. 72. 209
Fig. 73. 209
Fig. 74. 223
Fig. 75. 229
Fig. 76. 229
Fig. 77. 229

The Collotype Plates

271
I.—Old Carved Chest in York Cathedral. I
II.—Figure from the Tomb of Henry IV. in Canterbury Cathedral. II
III.—Aisle Roof—Mildenhall Church, Suffolk. III
IV.—Nave Roof—Sall Church, Norfolk. IV
V.—Portion of a Carved Oak Panel—The Sheepfold. V
VI—Portion of a Carved Oak Panel—The Sheepfold. VI
VII.—Preliminary Drawing of a Lion for Carving. By Phillip Webb. VII
VIII.—Book Cover Carved in English Oak—"Tale of Troy." VIII
IX.—Book Cover Carved in English Oak—"Tale of Troy." IX
X.—Book Cover Carved in English Oak—"Reynard the Fox".
(only carved portions shown.)
X
XI.—Carving from Choir Stalls in Winchester Cathedral. XI
XII.—Carving from Choir Screen—Winchester Cathedral. XII
XIII.—Font Canopy—Trunch Church, Norfolk. XIII
XIV.—Two designs for Carving, by Philip Webb.
One executed, one in drawing.
XIV
XV.—Leg of a Settle, carved in English Oak. XV
XVI.—Pew Ends in Carved Oak—Brent Church, Somersetshire. XVI

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