“[Architectural ornamentation] liberates us from the tyranny of the useful and satisfies our need for harmony.” — Roger Scruton
I have been at my carving bench working on a commission for a client who asked me to carve two family crests – one for him and one for his brother. I have carved many items for this client over the years. He is nearing completion of his house, which is beautiful! Here are a couple of pictures of some of the architectural details I have carved for him.
The family crests are to be carved in a similar style, and are being carved in black walnut. Walnut is a very good wood for carving. It is relatively hard, straight grained, and holds details well. It is easy to finish, and the wood is not heavily grained so it does not distract from the carved details.
I started by cutting out the general shape of the crest before transferring the drawing onto the wood.
Then I set the depths for the various elements of the crest which were very specific. No more than 3/8ths of an inch deep, the helmet, feathers, and castle turrets should be the highest points, etc.
Then I began removing wood with my carving gouges. Having a reference drawing nearby is essential to get the details correct in this sort of carving.
I finished the first one and have made substantial progress on the second one.