I think by the time I finish my book on carving acanthus leaves, I will definitely need a break. Everywhere I go I see them. I’m having lunch with a friend and my eyes wander to a little wall sconce with simple acanthus leaves twisting up the sides. I look at a picture frame with acanthus leaves flowing along the edge. I try to focus on the conversation and notice that the carpet has scrolling acanthus leaves intertwined with one another. I need to finish this book so I can get back to a normal life again – or maybe find something else to obsess over…
My husband and I spent time in Savannah, GA last weekend and took a lot of reference photographs of acanthus leaves that I hope to include in my book. We love Savannah, as it is our “get-away” place that is only a 2 hour drive away from where we live in Charleston, SC. We strolled around the historic streets and southern squares, enjoying the architectural details of cast and carved stone embellishments. We spent hours walking through the many antique stores. When I asked if I could take photos of any examples of acanthus leaves in their stores to include in my book, all were very gracious and gave me full access to their store.
My book focuses on the techniques of carving acanthus leaves in wood. But once you start exploring the many areas that these designs are used, the examples are endless. The photos that I took are of acanthus leaves in a variety of designs and applications – painted porcelain, inlay and marquetry, cloth and tapestry, cast iron, and silverware are just a few areas.
Here are a few examples of exterior architectural decorations – mostly cast stone and metal:
Inlay and Marquetry:
Cloth and Tapestry:
And finally – woodcarving
I can show many more, but I need to know when to stop.
I think there is a second volume of “Carving the Acanthus Leaf” waiting once I finish this one. But first I have to finish this one…
Please sign up to receive newsletters on the progress of the book and there are free things to win. I am currently collecting names for a raffle of a resin casting of one of the acanthus leaves that I show how to carve in my book (photo below). We all like FREE things! Once you sign up, go to the VIP lounge and register your name.
Take the time today to look around – see what designs are in everyday items that we don’t really pay attention to. Happy acanthus leaf searching!
If you are not familiar with my Online School of Traditional Woodcarving, please check it out!. Thanks!