When you don’t carve that often you can easily make more mistakes when you re-emerge yourself into it. I had a super busy week at church, and although I have watched the Follansbee DVD numerous times on oak desk boxes, it didn’t stop me from goofing on my v tool work. According to the original 17th Century oak desk box, the outside lines on the tulips are supposed to stop short of the point on the leaf design. My outside lines were carried too far and are curved somewhat. I was looking at the line drawing and forgetting that the chopped accents are what makes the curvature at the ends of the lines. Oh well, you can’t see both sides at the same time anyway.
I really like the 17th century oak carved look. It is neat when I watch Peter Follansbee on his DVD cut through riven red oak like butter with a v tool. Since I’ve riven red oak from the log, I have a good idea of how much easier and faster it is to shape and carve red oak with greater moisture content.
Since I don’t access to oak logs right now, I am planning to carve subsequent 17th Century designs in clear basswood. It won’t have the characteristic grain pattern of riven red oak, but at least it won’t be as tough on carving tools also. I find this style of carving particularly refreshing in terms of giving some latitude on executing the designs. Carved lines can be irregular and still yield a wonderfully artistic piece of furniture. It is funny too how this style of carving makes you want to fill blank space as if the original carvers were uncomfortable or afraid of empty space. I never felt that way about chip carving. Previously, I actually incorporated empty space into my chip carvings on purpose.