Period Furniture Carving

Attaching fragile carving to backer board

April 9, 2014 MaryMay Period Furniture Carving

This is a great example of how to care for a very fragile carving. This delicate leaf design is for the detail on the top of a Philadelphia Highboy (this project is actually going on a Philadelphia Chest-on-Chest, but since the highboys are so much more common, I’m just going to refer to it as […]



Carving a Philadelphia Chest on Chest

April 7, 2014 MaryMay Antique furniture reproduction

I recently received a great new commission – to carve the top details for 4 reproduction Philadelphia Chippendale chest-on-chests. These ornate tops are usually seen on highboys from around 1760 to 1780, but occasionally are added as decorative tops (or bonnets) of chest-on-chests. Quite often the chest-on-chests have a simple flat top. The following is […]



Rochester, NY class

March 13, 2014 MaryMay Period Furniture Carving


Last month I had a wonderful time teaching in Rochester, NY. Unfortunately, I travelled there the day after a major snowstorm and ended up spending about 10 hours in lovely Washington, DC airport. I ended up missing a talk/demo I was supposed to do for the Rochester Woodworking Society that evening and did not actually […]



Very Unique Looking Chairs

December 18, 2013 MaryMay Chair Carving

The "angry swan" carved into the back of the chair.

I recently completed a job that was quite unique. Brad Nietert and Matt Behrens, furniture makers here in Charleston, SC came to my shop several months ago to discuss the possibility of making 12 chairs based on a 1850′s Georgian cockfighting chair. Historically, these chairs were constructed so the spectator sits in the chair backwards […]



Carved Wheat and Ribbon

September 15, 2013 MaryMay Period Furniture Carving

Profile. These have not been cut to final size.

I recently finished a very delicate carving of a wheat and ribbon design. This was carved for a friend, Monty Hinson, who is a highly skilled furniture maker here in Charleston. Monty and I have made several ornate period furniture pieces together – Goddard/Townsend Newport dresser, Charleston Rice Beds, Philadelphia Lowboys. Monty builds the furniture […]



New Video on Carving Reeds on a Sphere for a Pedestal Table

July 30, 2013 MaryMay Period Furniture Carving


I just finished editing the video on carving reeds on a sphere¬†for pedestal table and put it up on my video school. This style is based on an 18th century¬†Chippendale style 3-legged pedestal table. I carved this for Greg Guenther of Savannah, GA. He turned the pedestal and also built the rest of the table. […]



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