Carving a Family Crest, Part 3

Yesterday, I left you with the family crest being roughed in (or roughed out, or bosted in – whatever you wish), which means the next step is to start carving detail in. I do not carve one piece of a carving until it’s finished; I tend to roam all over the carving, working a little here and then there, and then over there. The reason I do this is because I need to keep a sense of the whole, rather than just one part. For example, if I was carving you and just worked on your ear until it was finished, it might not match the size of your head, or be in proportion to your eyes. It’s the same with a relief carving like this. I started working on the part I was most interested in, which was the helmet, but soon was drawn to the shield, the stars, and the acanthus leaves.

Bailie Family Crest Bosted In
Family Crest Progress

This way, as it comes together, I can make sure the depths are set correctly and the size fits the carving well before cutting too much away. In this case, I determined that the background needed to be set deeper.

Family Crest Getting There
Family Crest Getting There

Here you can begin to see the shape and flow of the acanthus leaves, as well as the potential of the shadows thrown by the deeper depth. I’ve only just begun to undercut the leaves, and initial shaping of the banners is coming along, but it’s still pretty rough. The Celtic border, because of it’s separation from the rest of the carving, and relative simplicity, can wait until tomorrow.

I hope YOU can wait till tomorrow too – because that’s when I’ll show you the Celtic knot taking shape.

Till next time,

Grant McMillan

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