Skip to main content

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.

Course Details

Length: 3 days