I hope to finish carving the 3 capitals tonight because tomorrow I will be starting on a new project – and a very time sensitive one. I will be carving 2 large shell niches for 2 cabinets that will be built into a wall. This is for a house in St. Louis, and I will need to complete it by September 13 – that is 3 weeks from today!
The most complex part of this project is preparing and building the dome – before any carving is done. The carving is easy compared to some of the processes of engineering that are needed to put this together. If I can figure out how, I will attach some magazine articles on several processes of how to prepare this wood. It is truly surprising how complex it is.
Because this is so time sensitive, we are going to go the simplest and quickiest route – just gluing 10 – 2 inch thick blocks together and cut out of 3 of them half circles increasing in size – just to get as much of the bulk away as possible. And then… get a 4-1/2 inch chain saw blade and hog as much out as I can. Then when it gets closer to the final size, I will start working it with gouges. I am actually going to buy some specialty gouges for this to save my nuckles from getting scratched and cut. They will be long bent and spoon bent and probably 20 to 30 mm wide, if I can find the tools. They are so large, that they will be scarce. I guess I had better get looking…
Once I get the inside of the shell smooth, and the shape of the shell accurate (it is actually an oval shape – 24″ wide x 12″ high x 9″ deep), then I can lay out the shell ribs and start carving. The bottom rib will be a beautiful scroll design – with a lovely center scroll.
Then, for the outside – just because there will be so much excess wood, I will have my wonderful husband chain saw the bulk of the wood off.
I will be picking up the first block of wood from The Mill tomorrow. John Cook at The Mill is building it, and when I asked him how much it weighed, he just laughed.