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Carved Decoration: 17th Century English Style

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 different 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 museum 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.

This course is part of Wood Week! Plan to attend the Carvers Conference on March 6, a day of speakers, demonstrations, skill shares and community gatherings free for all enrolled students, including the rare mid-winter pizza bake. Come early or stay late! Full schedule available in early 2020.


Tue, Mar 3rd, 2020  –  Thu, Mar 5th, 2020

Course Details

Length: 3 days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: N/A
Registration Cost: $285.00 *
* Early-Bird rate in effect until Tue, Jan 21st, 2020
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: Varies ($40 and up)

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

  • Compass
  • Awl
  • Marking gauge
  • Ruler
  • Carving mallet
  • Gouges: the following are designations from the Swiss-Made line of tools. You don’t need these exact sizes, just something close to them. Your designs will be determined by the tools you have.
    • Gouge #9 Sweep 7 mm          
    • Gouge #7 Sweep 18 mm          
    • Gouge #9 Sweep 15 mm          
    • Gouge #8 Sweep 18 mm         
    • Gouge #5 Sweep 12 mm          
    • V‐Tool #12 Sweep 8mm

Optional Tools

Feel free to bring your favorite tools and whatever materials you might feel appropriate for this course. If you have more tools, and can bring them, do so. The wider array of tools, the more versatile we can be with patterns.

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

Begin Registration

North House is now requesting full payment at time of registration. Payment plans are available upon request — don't hesitate to contact us at 218-387-9762 if you need to arrange one.

* Early-Bird rate in effect until Tue, Jan 21st, 2020
Registration Cost:
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Cancellation Policy

If North House must cancel a course, students will receive a full refund of any payments made for that course.

Students who cancel their enrollment more than 21 days prior to the course will receive a refund less a $50 cancellation fee to cover administrative costs. In recognition of the time and energy instructors invest in preparing for courses, students who cancel their enrollment 21 days or less prior to the course are not eligible for a refund.

Certain classes have different cancellation policies. When this is the case, it will be noted in the Course Overview on this page. Please be sure that you are familiar with your class's cancellation policy, and contact us if you have any questions.