Lee Valley & Veritas Woodworking
Lee Valley 35 Years  
  Volume 7, Issue 6 - July 2013    
Interesting Read
Excerpt from Woodwork for Secondary Schools by Ira Samuel Griffith, 1916.

Inlaying and Wood-Carving

204. Light and Shade.—The sparkle of carving is due to the uneven reflection of light by the varying surfaces. Those surfaces that reflect the light directly give the high lights; those that reflect it obliquely give the half tones; the sharp edges give dark shadows on the background. These lights and shades should be balanced over the carving to correspond roughly with the distribution of interest in the spotting of the design. Variety of surface gives variety of light and shade. The background in Fig. 368 is a good example of surface treatment. Winding or twisting surfaces are particularly effective.
Examples of surface treatment
Fig. 368. Examples of surface treatment from a school in Leipsic, Germany.
The modeling cuts should be made with as few changes of tools on each surface as possible, using tools whose curvatures correspond with those of the surfaces required. The large number of facets produced by the use of too many different tools on a surface tend to make the carving look labored, and lose the sharpness and crispness so essential to interesting texture.
  Method of holding tool
  Fig. 369. Method of holding tool for very delicate modeling.
Many rounded forms may be cut by holding the gouge with the convex side up. Very delicate modeling may be done with the tool held as in Fig. 369. By twisting the U-shaped tools, while taking a cut, a very great change in curvature may be effected on a surface without the necessity of changing tools.

The modeling must be decided. Let the rounded surfaces be distinctly rounded, and the high points distinctly high, etc. Avoid uncertainty either of form or contour. Without a certain clear-cut sharpness, carving loses its distinctive character as a tool-wrought ornament.

It is often wise to try a design on a piece of scrap material to determine the scheme of modeling best adapted to it before attempting its final execution. Modeling the form in clay is still better, because it is so easily changed.
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