Wood-Carving - Design and Workmanship
by George Jack
Previous Part     1  2  3
Home - Random Browse

A good quality of finish may exist in the most divergent kinds of work, each having its own characteristic texture. Thus a broad treatment on a large scale will make much of the natural texture of the wood, enforcing it by crisp edges and subtle little ridges which catch the light and recall the momentary passage of the sharp tool, while elaborate work in low relief may have a delicate texture which partly imitates that of the details of its subject, and partly displays the nature of the wood. In either case, the texture must be consciously aimed at by the carver as the last but by no means least quality which is to give vitality to the work of his hands. A sense of the capabilities of his wood in this respect is one of the best aids to the carver, as it reacts on his sense of form and compels him to precision.

Manual dexterity alone may succeed in making its work clearly intelligible, but that is all, and it generally leaves a surface in which there is little indication of any feeling for the material in which the work is carved, nothing, in fact, that marks it specially as carving in wood, or distinguishes it from a casting in metal.

The technical operation which is most immediately answerable for the making or marring of texture is the disposition and nature of the final tool marks. These should be so managed that they help the eye to understand the forms. They should explain rather than confuse the contours of the surface. Just as in a good chalk drawing the strokes and cross-hatchings are put in with method, and if well done produce the effect of something solid, so in carving, the tool marks should emphasize the drawing without in any way calling attention to themselves.

It is quite impossible to explain in words that will not be open to misconstruction the subtle commingling of qualities which make all the difference between good and bad texture. We may succeed better by describing those conditions which are unfavorable to it. Thus work which is very much cut up into minute detail, and which lacks a proper contrast of surface, or, for the same reason, work which is too generally bald and smooth, rarely exhibit a good surface texture. Again, work which is overlabored, or where delicate details have been attempted on a coarse-grained wood, or finally, work which, although done with success in the matter of mechanical dexterity, is deficient in feeling for its woody possibilities, are all likely to fail in the matter of texture.

Punch-marked backgrounds have undoubtedly a legitimate place among the expedients of the carver for obtaining contrast, but on the whole, as such, they are of a somewhat meretricious order, and in almost every case their use is fatal to the charm of fine texture, as this always depends on an appreciation of the homogeneous connection of carving and background. If they are used at all they should be made to form patterns on the background, and not put down promiscuously. Little gouge marks are still better, as they are not so mechanical.

I shall conclude this part of my subject with a quotation from the words of Mr. W. Aumonier, in a lecture delivered at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

"All carving to be treated according to the position it is to occupy. Not only the design, but the actual carving itself, should be considered with a view to the position it is to take and the light it will receive. Thus, even if quite close to the eye, where, of course, its position warrants or demands a certain amount of finish, it must be remembered that real finish rather means perfection of form than smoothness of surface, so that even there it should still show its cuts and its tool marks fearlessly, and be deepened in parts to make it tell its proper tale in the combined scheme of decoration; while if it is going a great height or distance from the eye it should be left as rough as ever you can leave it. The only points that have to be regarded are the outlines, varieties of planes, and depths, and if these be properly considered everything else will take care of itself, and then the whole work can not be left too rough. Its very roughness and choppy cuts will give it a softness and quality when in its place that no amount of smoothing or high finish can possibly attain to."

Beware of putting a wrong interpretation upon the word "rough"—refer to what he says of the points to be regarded, i.e., the "varieties of planes, and depths." If they are right the "roughness" is not likely to be of the offensive kind.

Nothing so effectually destroys the quality of texture as polish applied to carving. If furniture must be polished it should not be carved. The only polish that improves carving is that which comes of use. On hard woods, such as oak or Italian walnut, the pressure of the tools leaves a pleasant polish, which is all that is necessary; the most that should be allowed may be given by a little burnishing with the handle of the tool.



The Country Craftsman of Old Times—A Colony of Craftsmen in Busy Intercourse—The Modern Craftsman's Difficulties: Embarrassing Variety of Choice.

The present revival of interest in the arts, especially with regard to those of a decorative kind, is based on the recently awakened esthetic desires of a small section of the general public, who owe their activity in this direction to the influence of men like John Ruskin and William Morris. The first of these, by his magic insight, discerned the true source of vitality which lay in the traditions of medieval workmanship, i.e., their intensely human character and origin. His fiery words compelled attention, and awakened a new enthusiasm for all that betokens the direct and inspiring influence of nature. They raised the hope that this passion might in some way provide a clue to the recovery of a fitting form of expression.

William Morris, with no less power as a craftsman, was the first to give practical embodiment to this newly awakened impulse by a modified return to the older methods of production. His rare knowledge of medieval history, and manly sympathy with all that is generous in modern life, made it impossible for him to become a superficial imitator. His work is an example of what may be achieved by a union of high artistic instincts with a clear understanding of the conditions of modern life.

Cheering as is the present activity in its encouragement of endeavor, the difficulties of establishing anything like an efficient system of education for the artist, more especially the sculptor, or carver artist, is only being gradually realized. The difficulties are not so much academic as practical. It is less a question of where to study than one of knowing what direction those studies should take. Before any genuine development in the art can be looked for, continuity of effort must be established, and that in a single direction, undisturbed as it is at present by differences of public taste.

Opportunities for study are now afforded to an extent never before dreamed of: in books and schools, and in museums; but division of opinion mars the authority of the two first, while the last is confessedly but a kind of catalogue, which may only be read with profit by the light of considerable experience.

A certain amount of success has undoubtedly attended the progress of the new system, but it must always be more or less at a disadvantage; firstly, by reason of its divided aims; secondly, because the system is more theoretic than practical, and is often based on the false assumption that "design" may be learned without attaining a mastery over technique, and vice versa.

Until students become disillusioned on this latter point, and are at the same time permitted to follow their natural bent with as little interference as possible from the exigencies of public taste, uniformity of aim will be impossible, and consequently the system must remain artificial. It can never, under any circumstances, entirely replace that more natural one adopted by our ancestors. How can its methods compare for a moment with the spontaneous and hearty interest that guided the tools of those more happily placed craftsmen, whose subjects lay around them, of daily familiarity; whose artistic language was ready to hand and without confusion, affording an endless variety of expression to every new and individual fancy. Many of these craftsmen were, owing to their invigorating surroundings, gifted with a high poetic feeling for their art—a quality which gives to their work a transcendent value that no learning or manual cleverness could supply. They acquired their technical knowledge in genial connection with equally gifted members of other crafts, and in consequence expressed themselves with corresponding and justly proportioned skill in execution.

Conditions that can not be altered must be endured while they last, but the first step toward their improvement must be made in gaining a knowledge of the facts as they are. This will be the surest foundation upon which to build all individual effort in the future.

Who that has felt the embarrassing doubts and contradictory impulses, peculiar to modern study, can have failed to look disconsolately away from his own surroundings to those far-off times when craft knowledge was acquired under circumstances calculated to awaken the brightest instincts of the artist? The imaginary picture calls up the ancient carver at his bench, cheerfully blocking out images of leaves and animals in his busy workshop, surrounded with the sights and sounds of country life. His open door frames a picture of the village street, alive with scenes of neighborly interest. From the mill-wheel comes a monotonous music making pleasant cadence to his own woody notes, or the blacksmith's hammer rings his cheery counterpart in their companionable duet.

Short as is the distance between workshop and home, it provides a world of beauty and incident; suggesting to his inventive mind the subjects suitable for his work. Birds, beasts, and flowers are as familiar to him as the tools with which he works, or the scent and touch of the solid oak he handles daily. There, among the aromatic chips, he spends the long working hours of a summer day; varied by the occasional visits of a rather exacting Father from the neighboring monastery; or perhaps some idle and gossiping acquaintance who looks in to hold a long parley with his hand upon the latch. Or it may be that the mind turns to another carver, at work in one of the many large colonies of craftsmen which sprang up amid the forest of scaffolding surrounding the slow and mysterious growth of some noble cathedral. Here all is organized activity—the best men to be found in the country have been banded together and commissioned to do their best, for what seems, in modern eyes, a ridiculously small rate of pay. Some are well known and recommended; others, as traveling artists, are seeking change of experience and daily bread. Foreigners are here, from France, Italy, and the East. All have been placed under the direction of competent masters of their craft; men who have long since served their apprenticeship to its mysteries, and earned an honorable position in its gilds.

Here the carver works in an atmosphere of exhilarating emulation. Stone-carver and wood-carver vie with each other in producing work that will do credit to their respective brotherhoods. Painter and decorator are busy giving to the work of their hands what must have appeared to those concerned an aspect of heavenly beauty; the most precious materials not being considered too costly for use in its adornment.

What an interchange of artistic experience!—interchange between those of similar craft from different countries, and the stimulating or refining influence of one craft upon another—sculptors, goldsmiths, wood-carvers, and painters, all uniting in a sympathetic agreement to do their utmost for the high authorities who brought them together; with a common feeling of reverence, alike for the religious traditions which formed the motives of their work and the representatives of that religion in the persons of their employers.

What an endless variety of interruptions must have been common! all of a kind eminently calculated to stimulate the imagination. Municipal functions, religious festivals with their splendid gatherings and processions, the exciting events of political contest, often carried to the point of actual combat, to say nothing of the frequent Saint's day holidays, enjoyed by the craftsman in jovial social intercourse. All and every scene clothed in an outward dress of beauty, ranging from the picturesque roughness of the village inn to the magnificent pageantry of a nobleman's display, or the majestic surroundings of an archi-episcopal reception.

From dreams of the past with its many-sided life and background of serious beauty, we turn with feelings almost bordering on despair to the possibilities of the present. Not only has the modern craftsman to master the technicalities of his business, but he must become student as well. No universally accepted form of his art offers him a ready-made language; he is left fatally free to choose style, period, or nationality, from examples of every conceivable kind of carving, in museums, photographs, and buildings. As proud but distracted heir to all, he may cultivate any one of them, from Chinese to the latest style of exhibition art. For his studies he must travel half a dozen miles before he can reach fields, trees, and animals in anything like inspiring conditions. He must find in books and photographs the botanical lineaments of foliage and flowers, of which he mainly seeks to know the wild life and free growth. With but one short life allowed him in which to make his poor effort in a single direction, he must yet study the history of his craft, compare styles, and endeavor with all the help he can get to shape some course for himself. Can he be assured of selecting the right one, or out of the multitude of counselors and contradictory views, is there not a danger of taking a false step? No wonder, if in the cloudy obscurity of his doubts, he sometimes feels a tired desire to abandon the problem as too intricate to be resolved.



The Infinite Multiplicity of Styles—The "Gothic" Influence: Sculpture an Integral Element in its Designs—The Approach of the so-called "Renaissance" Period—Disturbed Convictions—The Revival of the Classical Style—The Two Styles in Conflict for a Time; their Respective Characteristics Reviewed—Carvers Become Dependent upon Architects and Painters—The "Revival" Separates "Designer" and "Executant."

The prevailing architectural fashion of a time or country, known as its style, has generally been determined by the influence of more advanced nations on those of a ruder constitution; each modifying the imported style to suit its own climatic and social conditions, and imbuing it with its own individual temperament. The foreign idea was thus developed into a distinct and national style, which in its turn bore fruit, and was passed on as an initiative for other nations and new styles. The current of this influence, generally speaking, trended from east to west as though following the course of the sun, upon whose light it depended for the illumination of its beauties.

There are so many styles of architecture, and consequently of carving, both in wood and other materials, that a history of such a subject would be a life study in itself, and be quite barren of results except those of a professional kind. It would include the characteristics of carvings from every country under the sun, from the earliest times known. Engravings on boars' tusks found in prehistoric caves, carvings on South Sea Island canoe paddles, Peruvian monstrosities of terror, the refined barbarity of India and China, the enduring and monumental efforts of Egyptian art, and a hundred others, down to times and countries more within reach. In fact, it would only be another name for a history of mankind from the beginning of the world.

Nothing could be better for the student's purpose than to begin his studies of history at that point where the first indication of the Gothic or medieval period of architecture makes its appearance. For it was from this great and revolutionary change in the manner of building that all the subsequent variety of style in carving as well as building in medieval Europe took its origin. The first rudiments of the great school of art, which has been broadly classified as having a "Gothic" origin, began to make their appearance in Byzantium some three or four centuries after the birth of Christ. This city, said to have been founded by a colony of Greek emigrants, became the seat of Roman government in their eastern empire, and is now known as Constantinople: it contains a noted example of ancient art in the great church of St. Sophia. From the date of the building of this church in the sixth century A. D. to the beginning of the fifteenth century in Italy, and about a hundred years later, more or less, according to distance from that center, we have roughly the period during which the "medieval" spirit ruled the arts of Europe.

The work of this long period is distinguished beyond all others by the varied beauty and interest of its carvings, a preeminence it owes in part to the strong bias in this direction which was given by its early founders, but still more to the unbroken alliance maintained between builders and carvers throughout the entire period. An inherited talent for sculpture, handed down, no doubt, from their classical forefathers, distinctly marks the commencement of the era; but from that time until the appearance of the "Renaissance" influence, builder and carver are no longer conceivable as being independent of each other. Sculpture of one kind or another not only played an important part in the decoration of its buildings, but became a necessary and integral element in every architectural conception, be its importance little or great. The masons designed their structural features with a view to the embellishments to follow from the hand of the carver; they were in full sympathy with the artistic intention of the decoration, therefore their own ideas were in complete conformity with those of the sculptor, while even in some cases they did this part of the work themselves. The sculptors, restrained by the severe laws of structural design, never transgressed the due limits of their craft, or became insistent upon the individuality of their own work. Hence, throughout all the successive changes of style brought about by time and difference of country, climate, or material, the art of carving steadily progressed hand in hand with the art of building. The changes were so very gradual, and grew so naturally from the conditions and requirements of social life, that ample time was allowed for the education of public feeling, which became in this way identified with the inventive progress of the craftsmen. As a happy result, one aim and desire governed alike builders, carvers, and people, and one style at a time, enjoyed and understood by all, was the wholesome regimen by which the architectural appetite of the period was sustained. Cathedral and cottage differed only in their relative grades of importance; each shared in due proportion the advantages of an architectural style common to all forms of building, and adaptable in the highest degree to every varying purpose of design, from the simplest piece of walling, with the barest indication of style, to the most elaborate arrangement of masonry and carving which could be devised to distinguish a stately and important structure.

Time was, however, preparing a revolution which was destined to sweep away many old beliefs and established institutions, and with them those familiar motives and habits of thought, which had long formed the bountiful source of medieval inspiration and invention. The period between the beginning of the fifteenth century and the Reformation was like a fiery furnace, in which the materials for a new world were being prepared; it was no time for the leisurely enjoyment of the pleasures of art, which presupposes settled convictions and imperceptible developments.

About this time many new forms of intellectual activity began to engage the minds of the more gifted. Speculative philosophy, the opening fields of science, the imaginative literature of the ancients; these were among the subjects which, while they enlarged the sphere of individual thought, destroyed that social ideal which had its roots in a common belief, and with it, the secret source of all past development in architecture. With the deep-lying causes and far-reaching effects of the unrest which disturbed this period, we are not here concerned, beyond the point where it touches our interest in architecture and sculpture. That drastic changes were in progress affecting the popular regard for these arts is undeniable. Educated and illiterate minds became alike indifferent to the authority of established religion—either they succumbed to the tyranny of its powerful but corrupt ministers, or stood out in open rebellion against its disputed dogmas. In either case, that architecture which had formerly been regarded as the chief symbol of united faith, shared the neglect of one section or the abhorrence of the other. That strong sense of beauty, once the common possession of builders, sculptors, and people, was now between the upper and nether millstones of fate, being ground into the fine dust which has served for centuries as the principal ingredient in the manufacture of an endless succession of moral puddings and pies, known in modern times as "art criticism."

To earnest minds in all classes at that time, any enthusiasm for architectural styles, old or new, must have appeared as futile as an anxiety about appearances while one's house was burning.

To the art of this period the title "Renaissance" has been foolishly applied. When used in association with the arts of architecture and sculpture, it is essentially a misnomer. For these arts it was merely a time of revival, not in any sense one of rebirth, as the word implies. In no way can this period claim to have conferred vitality along with the resuscitation of outward form. The revival of a classical style in architectural design, which began in the early years of the fifteenth century, was the sequel to a similar "revival" in the study of Greek and Roman literature, then occupying the interests of cultivated scholars. It was but a step further to desire also the realization of those architectural splendors which were associated with these studies. Such dilettante dreams can not be supposed to have deeply interested the general public, with whose concerns they had but a remote connection; so under these circumstances, probably the classical style was as suitable as any other, chosen on such narrow and exclusive grounds. There was even a certain fitness in it, a capability of much expansion on theatrical and grandiose lines. Its unbending demeanor toward craft talent of the humbler kind at once flattered the vanity of the cultured, and cowed uneducated minds.

The Duomo at Florence was finished early in that century, and was one of the first buildings in which the new style was adopted. In this case it was used mainly in the completion of a building already well advanced on lines based upon the older traditions. The character of its design, although not of a strictly imitative kind, was distinctly based on a classical ideal. Imitations followed, mingling, as in the case of the Duomo, Gothic and classic elements, often with fine effect. It is quite possible to believe that, had this intermarriage of the two schools continued to bear fruit, some vertebrate style might have resulted from the union, partaking of the nature of both parents; but the hope was of short duration. Its architects, becoming enamored by the quality of scientific precision, which is the fundamental principle of classical design, soon abandoned all pretense of attempting to amalgamate the native and imported styles. They gave themselves up wholly to the congenial task of elaborating a scholarly system of imitation; so that, by the middle of the sixteenth century, no trace whatever remained of native feeling in the architecture of its important buildings.

During the progress of this revolution in style, the old medieval habits of cooperation between master mason and sculptor were slowly being exchanged for a complete dependence upon a special architect, who was not necessarily a craftsman himself; but whose designs must be carried out line for line with the most rigid adherence to measurements.

For a moment in history, the rival spirits of the two great schools of architecture stand face to face like opposing ideals. The classical one, recalled from the region of things past and forgotten, again to play a part on earth with at least the semblance of life; the Gothic spirit, under notice to quit and betake itself to that oblivion from which its rival is reemerging.

In the heyday of their power, the first had shown a distinctly autocratic bearing toward its workmen; offering to its sculptors of genius opportunities for the exercise of highly trained powers, and to the subordinate workmen only the more or less mechanical task of repeating a limited number of prescribed forms. The other, a more genial spirit, had possessed the largest toleration for rude or untrained workmanship, provided that in its expression the carver had a meaning which would be generally understood and appreciated. If skill could be commanded, either of design or technique, it was welcomed; but it gave no encouragement to work which was either so distinctive as to be independent of its surroundings, or of a kind which could have no other than a mechanical interest in its execution. The abrupt contrasts, the variety and mystery, characteristic of Gothic architecture, had been a direct and irresistible invitation to the carver, and the freest playground for his fancy. The formality of the classical design, on the other hand, necessarily confined such carving as it permitted to particular lines and spaces, following a recognized rule; and except in the case of bas-relief figure subjects and detached statues, demanded no separate interest in the carvings themselves, further than the esthetic one of relieving such lines and spaces as were otherwise uncomfortably bare.

Some modification of this extreme arrogance toward the decorative carver was only to be expected in the revived style, but the freedom allowed to the individual carver turned out to be more apparent than real. A new race of carvers sprang up, imbued with the principles of classical design; but being no longer in touch with natural and popular interests, nor stimulated by mutual cooperation with their brother craftsmen, the mason builders, they adopted the fashionable mode of expression invented by the new architects and the painters of the time. Elaborate "arabesque" and other formal designs gave employment to the carvers, in making an infinite repetition of fiddles, festoons, and ribbons, in the execution of which they became so proficient, that their work is more often admired for its exquisite finish than for any intrinsic interest in the subject or design.

Judged by its effects upon the art of carving, without the aid of which a national style of architecture is impossible, the revival of classical architecture never had a real and enduring life in it. Strictly speaking, no organic style ever grew out of its ambitious promises; the nearest approach to such a thing is to be found in those uncouth minglings of Gothic tradition with fragments of classical detail which distinguish much of the domestic architecture during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Amusing in their quaint and often rich and effective combinations, humanly interesting in proportion to the predominance of the Gothic element, association has grown up around these homely records of a mixed influence, until they have come to be regarded with affection, if not with the highest admiration.

The "revival" brought nothing but harm to the carver himself—that is, to the carver who found it impossible to reach the elevation of a sculptor of genius. He sacrificed his own small but precious talent as a creator of pleasant images for the attainment of a finesse in the execution of other people's ideas. To the "Renaissance" must be attributed that fatal separation of the craftsman's function into the hands of designer and executant which has so completely paralyzed the living spirit of individual invention. It has taken close upon four centuries to open the eyes of our craftsmen to this inconsistency, and "revive" the medieval truth that invention and execution are strictly but one and the same thing. Let us hope that the present awakening to the importance of this fact may yet lead to what will be truly worthy of being called a "Renaissance"; not merely of outward forms, but of that creative energy which alone justifies the true meaning of the word.


PLATE I.—Old Carved Chest in York Cathedral. The front of a chest of almost similar design, only reversed, is to be seen in South Kensington Museum, which looks from its resemblance both in design and technique to be the work of the same carver, or at least to have been done about the same time. Note the absence of any attempt at elaborate perspective, and the "decorative" aspect of houses, rocks, trees, etc., also the distinctive treatment of the Knight and Princess who appear in the picture several times, representing various incidents of the story.

PLATE II.—Figure from the Tomb of Henry IV in Canterbury Cathedral. This figure is one of the corner ornaments on the canopy. The whole of the upper structure is of wood, painted in colors with parts picked out in gold.

PLATE III.—Aisle Roof, Mildenhall Church, Suffolk. This is one of the many beautiful carved roofs which abound in Norfolk and Suffolk. The nave roof is enriched with carvings of angels with wings outspread.

PLATE IV.—Nave Roof, Sall Church, Norfolk. This is another very beautiful timber roof showing the union of practical carpentry with carving to perfection.

PLATE V.—Portion of a Carved Oak Panel. The Sheepfold. The other part is shown in Plate VI, as, owing to the proportion of this panel and the necessity for keeping the scale of the plates as large as possible, it has been divided and shown in two portions. It was begun without any premeditated intention as to use, the sloping end being the shape of the board as it came into the author's hands, the other end being sloped off to match it.

PLATE VI.—Portion of a Carved Oak Panel. The Sheepfold. See description of Plate V.

PLATE VII.—Preliminary Drawing of a Lion for Carving. This plate is, as explained in the text, from a drawing by Philip Webb, the well-known architect. It was done by him to explain certain facts about the pose of a lion when the author was engaged in carving the book covers which are shown in Plates VIII and IX.

PLATES VIII and IX.—Book-Covers carved in English Oak. These were done by the author for one of the "Kelmscott Press" books, Tale of Troy, at the instance of Mr. Cobden-Sanderson. The relief is very slight, and is rather exaggerated by the light and shade of the photograph. The carved portion only of these covers is shown, the size of which is 11-1/2 x 5-3/4 ins.

PLATE X.—Book-Covers carved in English Oak. These were done by the author for Mr. F. S. Ellis's translation of Reynard the Fox. The size of the carved part is 8-3/4 x 5-1/4 ins.

PLATE XI.—Carvings from Winchester Cathedral. This plate is from sketches made by the author at Winchester Cathedral. The upper one is a spandrel piece from the traceried arcading of the stalls. The lower one is a part of one of the carved Miserere seats. The spandrel carving is pierced; that is, has the ground cut right through. The other piece is elaborately undercut.

PLATE XII.—Carving from Choir-Screen, Winchester Cathedral. This plate is from a sketch done for the purpose of noting the general effect of a large mass of carved foliage with particular reference to the distribution of lighted surfaces in the design.

PLATE XIII.—Font Canopy, Trunch Church, Norfolk. The plate gives the upper portion only of this beautiful canopy; it is supported upon six posts richly carved on all sides, of which there are five to each post. The height of the whole canopy is about fifteen or sixteen feet—it presumably dates somewhere toward the end of the fourteenth century or beginning of the fifteenth.

PLATE XIV.—Designs for Carving, by

Philip Webb. This plate gives two examples of designs for carving by Philip Webb. The upper one is part of a richly carved cornice which was done for a chimney-piece; the carving was executed by Mr. Laurence Turner, from whom the author got his first lesson in wood-carving. The other example is a design on paper for carving to be done in oak. This was carried out in the paneling of the dining-room at Clouds House, Salisbury, and looked exceedingly effective. Much of the articulation on the surface of the leaves, it will be noticed, is got by sharp facets produced by the intersection of gouge cuts.

PLATE XV.—Leg of a Settle carved in English Oak. This was begun by the author as forming part of a large oak seat or "settle," but has never been completed. The wood out of which it is carved came out of an old house at Tewkesbury and was full of cracks which were filled up with slips of oak glued in and carved over.

PLATE XVI.—Pew Ends in Carved Oak, Brent Church, Somersetshire. The three bench ends shown in this plate are from Brent Church, Somersetshire. Although rude in execution, they are extremely effective in design. The bounding form of the molded edges and gracefully shaped top are worth noticing; the whole evidently the outcome of a nice and inherited sense of design, without any particular technical knowledge or experience. The termination of the finials was unfortunately omitted in the photograph, hence the abrupt line at the top.



Acanthus, the, 156

Aims and conditions of work, 25

American woods, 48

Animal carving, 161, 191

Animal carving, Swiss, 191

Animals, or figures, in carving, 161, 191

Apprentice and student, their aims and conditions of work, 25

Architectural carving, 223

"Arkansas" slips, 44, 58

Arms, coats of, 177

Aumonier, W., 204, 238

Background, patterned, 96

Bas wood, 48

Beads and moldings to be carved, 119

Beam, carved, in South Kensington Museum, 140, 142

Bear, drawing of (frontispiece), 197, 200

Beast and bird studies, 191

Bed, design and carving for a, 163

Beech wood, 49

Bench or settle, design and carving for, 168, 174, 269, 302

Benches, 44

Bench screw, 48

Berne Cathedral, carved figure from, 191

Bevels, tool, 52

Bewick, studies from, 195

Bird and beast studies, 191

Book-covers in oak, 267, 288, 289, 291

Books, aid of, 191

Boxwood, 51

Brackets, 172

Bread plates, 116

Brent Church, pew ends in, 269, 304

Brier-wood, 51

Builder and carver, notes on the importance of cooperation between, 249

"Built-up" work, 214

Byzantine design, 96

"Candle," 56

Canopy, Font, 233, 268, 298

Canterbury Cathedral, carved figure from, 188, 275

Carpenter's imitation of stone construction, 223

Carpenter's influence on carver, 223

Cartoons, charcoal, 204

Carver and builder, notes on the importance of cooperation between, 249

Carver and joiner, reciprocal aims of, 161

Carving and sculpture, 249

Carving, architectural, 223

Carving, "chip," 63

Carving, heraldic, 176

Carving, Icelandic, 143

Carving, New Zealand, 63

Carving, Norse, 143

Carving, South Sea, 63

Carving, stone, 96, 223

Carving, Swiss, 191

Cedar wood, 166

Chair, sketch of, etc., 145

Character, works viewed as records of, 149

Charcoal cartoons, 204

Cherry wood, 51

Chest, carved, from York Cathedral, 147, 265, 273

Chestnut wood, 50

"Chip" carving, 63

Chisels, 31, 34, 35

Choir-screens, 227, 229, 267, 295

Choir-stalls at Winchester Cathedral, 227, 267, 293

Classical style, revival of, 249

Clay models, 191

Clips, 47

Clock, suggestion of design and carving for, 174

Clock case, suggestion of design and carving for, 170

Coats of arms, 176

Cock, suggestion for carving a, 174

Collotype plates, 273-304

Collotype plates, notes on the, 265

Colors noted on diagrams, 197, 199

Colors of woods, 48

Contours of surface, 103

Corner cupboards, 119

Cornice, design for, by Philip Webb, 268, 300

Craft schools, past and present, 240

Craftsmen, old-time and modern, 240

Cramps, 42, 47

Cross, design for, 177

Cupboards, corner, 119

Cutting, clearness of, 52, 69, 235

Design, 71, 88

Design, application of, 72

Design, Byzantine, 96

Design, factors in the arrangement of, 82

Design, outline, and suggestion of main masses, 191

"Designer" and "Executant," 88, 249

Designs, adaptation of old, to modern purposes, 103

Designs, humor in, 180

Designs, list of fruit, flower, and vegetable subjects, 159

Designs, necessity for every carver making his own, 88

Designs, transferring, 72

Detail, economy in, 84

Diagrams, colors noted on, 197, 199

Distance and light in design, 82

Drilling and sawing, 110

Duomo, the, at Florence, 257

Ebony wood, 51

Economy in detail, 84

Edges of tools, 52

Environment as important as handicraft, 149

Execution and design, 88, 249

Exning, chair at, 145

Figures, or animals, in carving, 161, 191

Finish, surface—texture, 234

Florence, the Duomo at, 257

Flowers as subjects, 158

Foliage, 115, 153, 159

Font canopy, 233, 268, 298

Foreshortening as applied to work in relief, 205

Forms, imitation of natural, 82

Forms, plant, list of, 153

Forms, rounded, 88

Free rendering, 96

Fruit subjects, 94, 157, 159

Furniture, carving on, 161

Gerrard's "Herbal," a source of design, 160

Gibbons, Grinling, 62, 85, 153, 215

Glass paper, 107, 164

Gothic capital in Southwell Minster, 96

Gothic carvings, 96, 180, 229, 249

Gothic influence, 249

Gouges, 31, 34, 35

Gouges, sharpening, 56

Grain of the wood, 48, 69

Grapes, 115, 156, 159

Grindelwald, carved bear from, 200

Grotesque in carving, 180

"Grounders," 34, 37

Grounding, 69

Handling tools, 27, 52, 78

"Hard" wood, 48, 51

Hardwood carving, 115

Henry IV, figure from tomb of 188, 265, 275

Heraldic carving, 176

"Herbal," Gerrard's, a source of design, 160

Heron, drawing of a, 197

Holdfasts, 48

Hollywood, 49

Hop-vine, the, 156

Humor in designs, 180

Icelandic carving, 143

Imitation of natural forms, 82

"India" oilstone, 42

Japanese work, a characteristic of, 125

Joiner and carver, reciprocal aims of, 161

Joiner, the amateur, 115

Joiner's tools, 41

Kauri pine wood, 48

"Kelmscott Press," carved oak covers for, 267, 288, 289

Lance-wood, 51

Landscape in carving, 221

Leather for stropping, 55

Leaves, expedient for explaining convolutions, 209

Leaves, list of, 159

Letters, carved, 165

Light and distance in design, 82

Lime wood, 48

Lion, preliminary drawing for carving a, 196, 267, 286

"Maccaroni" tool, 35, 38, 59

Mahogany wood, 48

Mallets, 44

Masses, right relationship of, 196

Masses, suggestion of main, 191

Masses, superposition of, 205

Medieval and modern choice of form compared, 153

Memoranda, methodical, 137

Memoranda, sketch-book, 137

Method, 137

Mildenhall Church, aisle roof, 226, 266, 277

Mirror frame, suggestion of design and carving for, 166

Miserere seats, 139, 142, 185, 186, 187, 216, 293

Miters, 77

Models, clay, 202

Morris, William, 240

Moldings, to be carved, 119

Museums, 137, 140, 145, 149

Natural forms, imitation of, 82

Nature, studies from, 153, 191

New Zealand carving, 63

Norse patterns, 143

Notes on cooperation, 249

Oak, 48, 157

Oilstones, 42, 52

Old work, 137

Originality, 108

Outline drawing, 191

Panel, carved, "The Sheepfold," 197, 212, 266, 282, 284

Paneling, design for, by Philip Webb, 268, 300

Panels, 72, 125, 170, 197

"Parting" tool, 34, 36

Paste for stropping, 52

Pattern and free rendering compared, 96

Pattern, background, 110

Pattern, importance of formal, 96

Pattern, medieval choice of natural forms governed by a question of, 96

Pattern, Portuguese, 145

Patterned background, 96

Patterns, 121

Patterns, Icelandic, 143

Patterns, New Zealand, 63

Patterns, Norse, 143

Patterns, pierced, 110, 145

Patterns, South Sea, 63

Pear-tree wood, 51

Period "Renaissance," revival of the classical style, 249

Perspective, 127, 205, 219

Pew ends, 269, 304

Photographs, aid of, 191

Picture subjects and perspective, 219

Pierced patterns, 110, 145

"Pierced" work, 214

Pine wood, 48, 71

Pine wood, yellow, 48, 71

Plant forms, list of, 153

"Planted" work, 214

Plums, 91

Polish, 138, 164

Portuguese pattern, 145

Position of tools, 27, 52

Practise and theory, 25

Preamble, 25

Relief, work in, 205

"Renaissance," the, 249

"Reynard, the Fox," carved oak book-cover, 267, 291

"Rifler," 41

Rounded forms, 88

"Router," 41

Ruskin, John, 240

"S," pattern, 121

St. Sophia, church of, 251

Sall Church, nave roof, 226, 266, 279

Sandalwood, 51

Sawing and drilling, 110

Schools, craft, past and present, 240

Screens, choir, 227, 229, 268, 295

Sculpture and carving, 249

Settle or bench, design and carving for, 168, 174

Settle, carved leg of, 269, 302

Sharpening stones, 42

Sharpening tools, 52

Sheep, drawing of, 197, 212, 266, 282, 284

Sheepfold, the, collotype plate, 266, 282, 284

Sketch-book, use of the, 137, 191

Slips, 43, 58, 61

"Soft" wood, 51

South Kensington Museum, carvings from, 140, 141, 142

South Sea carving, 63

Southwell Minster, Gothic capital in, 96

Spoon tools, 59

Stalls, choir, 227, 267, 293

Stone carving, 96, 223

Stones, sharpening, 42

Stones (sharpening), case for, 42

Stropping, 54

Student and apprentice, their aims and conditions of work, 25

Students, the, opportunity lies on the side of design, 25

Studies, beast and bird, 191

Studies from nature, 153, 191

Study, necessity for variety in, 249

Style, 249

Subjects, animal, 161, 191

Subjects, choice of, 82

Subjects, flower, 158

Subjects, foliage, 159

Subjects, fruit, 159

Subjects, in perspective, 219

Subjects, picture, 219

Subjects, still life, 83

Subjects, vegetable, 159

Surface contours, 103

Surface finish, 234

Swiss carving, 191

Sycamore wood, 49

"Tale of Troy," carved oak book-cover for, 267, 288, 289

Tempering tools, 39

Texture and surface finish, 234

Theory and practise, 25

Thimble pattern, 121

"Throwing about," 106

Time, carvers the historians of their, 149

Tool marks, the importance of their direction, 234

Tools, 31

Tools, average number, 31

Tools, blunted or broken, 40

Tools, description of, 27

Tools, handling, 27, 52, 78

Tools, joiner's, 41

Tools, position on oilstone, 52

Tools, position when in use, 27

Tools, sharpening, 52

Tools, spoon, 59

Tools, stropping, 54

Tools, tempering, 39

Tracing, 72

Trunch Church, font canopy at, 233, 268, 298

"Turkey," oilstone, 42

Turner, Laurence, 269

Undercutting and "built-up" work, 214

"V" tool, 31, 34, 36, 59

Vegetable designs, 159

"Veiner," 31, 34, 36, 58

Vines, the, 115, 156, 159

Walnut wood, 48, 50

"Washita" oilstone, 42

Wave pattern, 121

Webb, Philip, drawings and designs by, 177, 196, 268, 286, 300

Winchester Cathedral, carvings from, 190, 216, 227, 267, 293, 295

Wood, hard, 48, 51

Wood, soft, 48, 51

Woods, 48

Woods, American, 48

Woods, colors of, 48

Woods, grain of, 48, 69

Woods, list of, 48

Woods, "soft" and "hard," 48, 51

Work, critical inspection of, from a distance, as it proceeds, 103

Yellow pine wood, 48, 71

York Cathedral, old chest in, 265, 273

Yorkshire settle, 168


Transcriber's Note: Minor corrections were made to normalize spelling and punctuation. Small caps were replaced with all-caps.

Previous Part     1  2  3
Home - Random Browse