I’ve been making a crossbow over the last few weeks as a kind of intermediate step towards building the ‘big one’ – no pictures yet but I’ll post some before long. The prod is roughed out of a piece of yew and is going to receive some horn nocks before I sinew it, the tiller is roughed out of a not very promising piece of apple but I think it will end up as something really lovely. Work has been delayed as my local joiner promised to re-saw my buffalo horn for about 6 weeks but then kinda let me down, When I collected the horn they pointed me to a nearby unit where lurks a green oak worker but, and God is very good, the guy there -Rhys – is so much more than that – he’s also a tool maker and blacksmith and I needed to find a blacksmith to forge the metal-work for the crossbow. He also does a rather fabulous bearded carving axe, best balanced axe I’ve ever seen, so, Christmas is coming and its time to start saving up…
I found this sweet little figurehead upstairs in the Victoria Inn in Salcombe, South Devon (highly recommended by the way). I really don’t know if its a restoration, reproduction, or new carving but I do know I really like it, the tilt of the head just gives the whole piece a lift. I did ask the staff for any information about her but I’m afraid they were none the wiser.
Travel tip, do not go up the funicular from the river to the palace in Budapest, its a tourist trap, and a very expensive one. Go one stop down the tram railway and ride the escalator in the palace gardens behind the ladies gate. The gardens are beautiful; the entrance buildings are stunning. Right by the escalator is a little water spout, a bear in the Bavarian (I think) style. The more you look the better he gets, the modelling is stunning. These photos should be enough for any half decent carver to develop a pattern from.
OK, so I did say, back in September, I would post some more carving-related snaps when I found my camera-sinc lead. Couldn’t find it anywhere so I finally invested in a new card reader. Anyway, as promised, some photo-sets.
First just a couple of the doors, door surrounds and door decor that seem to be a significant element of the decorative features of architecture in the city.
Lions are everywhere you look around the palace quarter but these particularly caught my eye
And the eagle, of course.
This is a little acanthus scroll trailboard for a Victorian launch restoration, currently at the tweak and finish stage. The turn at the bow end is a little too oval, but otherwise it’s coming together nicely. The thing that really makes a deep relief like this ‘pop’ is to undercut it. Undercutting is done to take the sides of the design out of sight. It is important that this is not overdone or the edges will be weakened. It is also important the back of the carving keeps in contact with the hull; if it is raised it will be susceptible to breaking off when the carving gets knocked. The thing to bear in mind is to avoid pockets for water to collect in.
The first picture shows a vertical view but even here some of the sides of the carving are visible.
Whereas this image is only slightly off-vertical and the sides are clear to see.
Wow, a whole year has past since the last entry on this series, now that’s what I call ‘occasional’!
OK, so if you recall, I made a big thing about the importance of the jaw-line. Well, now that I have finally taken some photos of the Brest Tiller, I can illustrate the point with the view of the face from under the neck. The image also nicely illustrates the prominence of the nose, and, if you look very carefully, the curve of the forehead is just about visible too.