Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mass Production "1750 style"

with a little 21st century help

When this pair of  demi-lune tables arrived only one of the 12 carved corner brackets or spandrels  remained entirely intact. I decided it was best to make complete spandrels and than cut them into the remaining sections to retain as much of the original as possible.

Traditionally a  tracing or rubbing would be made to duplicate the missing parts.

Instead I photographed the bracket, scaled it in Adobe Photoshop and traced over it in Corel Designer. After adjusting for the printers scaling I printed out 12 perfect templates giving me one more bracket than I needed but allowing for "mistakes" From that point on it was back to the eighteenth century.

The first step was to cut out all of the profiles with a scroll saw and clean up the corners and inside cuts with a chisel.

Then the template was cut into sections and the details traced onto the faces of the blanks.

Its always tempting to want to carve one of the pieces completely at this point. But being impatient to see the final result will lead to a lack of uniformity. Completely carving each bracket before starting the next would mean that each one is unique and individual - an admirable trait in some things but not in a repeating pattern.
The face elevations are all carved on each piece followed by the rounding or each leaf followed by the... section by section, piece by piece.

A very gratifying and peaceful way to spend an afternoon - or three.

Additional Photos


In talking to the client about this post it became apparent that I had neglected some relevant history. This pair of demi-lunes was a "near" pair. The earlier piece being 18th century, the later an almost perfect copy made in the late 1800's.

Thank you Don for refreshing my memory!