Carving Acanthus Leaves – Many of Them!

The past few weeks, I have spent many hours in the shop carving acanthus leaves in oak. Remember the fireplace carvings I finished in the fall? That client called me again to get me to start some carvings for his front entry stairs and balcony.

I started by transferring the drawings onto the boards.



Then I bosted in the carvings to just above the correct depth by cutting around the outline of the leaves.



Most recently, I have been layering the leaves and putting “movement” into them. By “movement” I mean rises and falls, curves where leaves overlap, and varying the curves of the leaves in and out.



This is when the carving gets fun – when the artist in me comes to the fore, and the technical work that I spent weeks on starts to shine. Now only 7 more of these to go!

3 thoughts on “Carving Acanthus Leaves – Many of Them!

  1. Nice work Grant. BTW, two halves of the 1 3/4″ thick carving top are ready for planing and the final glue up next Friday. Have been nibbling away at it when there’s time. Next step after it’s all one piece will be to cut out the circle and level the top and bottom surfaces in prep. for drilling the holes.


    Alan Randall

  2. Hi Grant,

    It’s been a while since I did carving of this sort and you’re making me miss it a little. I have a question for you: how do you remove the bulk of the waste from the background, or “bost in the carving”?


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