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Carved Decoration: 17th-Century English Style

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Course Overview

Peter Follansbee has specialized for 25 years in making reproductions of 17th-century style oak furniture, based on originals from both England and New England. Most of this furniture features extensive carved decoration. This 3-day class will explore the carved decoration in great detail. Using just a few carving gouges, compass, and mallet, students in this class will learn how to lay out and cut numerous forms, patterns, and combinations of carved decoration. We’ll see how the shapes of the tools help determine the patterns, and how varying techniques combine to complete different designs. Proportions, spacing, and the relationship between background and foreground in establishing the pattern/design are key components of this work. Typically, we begin with very simple elements using just one tool, a small gouge, and the mallet. From there, each exercise expands on this foundation and each succeeding design adds more and more complexity. Various shop-made punches highlight the carved designs. A range of designs will be covered, all drawn from surviving examples studied in museums and private collections. We’ll run through a series of patterns, culminating in a full-scale pattern typical of a box front or chest panel. We’ll include a session looking at slides of surviving carved works from both England and New England.

Currently Scheduled Sessions