Carving a Cartouche

2017-07-07T11:20:36-04:00 December 17th, 2014|

This is a brief introduction to "Carving a Cartouche."

This 5 episode lesson is Part 3 of the "Philadelphia Highboy" series and is certainly the most challenging so far! You will learn the process of carving the ornate cartouche gracing the center of the pediment on a Philadelphia styled highboy.

  • Series: Part 3 of 4 in the "Philadelphia Highboy"
  • Lesson Contents: 5 episodes; template, tool list, and photo in Episode 1
  • Type of Wood: Mahogany
  • Dimensions: 6-1/2" w x 12" h x 1-1/8" d
  • Tool List: 3mm v-chisel; 6mm v-chisel; #3, 3mm; #3, 6mm; #3, 8mm; #3, 14mm; #5, 14mm; #7, 6mm; #7, 10mm; #7, 14mm; #8, 6mm; #10, 5mm; #11, 2mm; #11, 3mm
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Casting Available: Having a 3-D reference is tremendously helpful and allows you to get an accurate assessment of the carving's size, shape, and depth.

Lessons in this Series:

Carving a Cartouche

Carving a Philadelphia Rosette

Carving a Philadelphia Acanthus

I have plans to create a lesson for the Shell to complete the series. Stay tuned!

= More Lessons at the Advanced Skill Level =


  1. david liske February 15, 2015 at 8:43 am - Reply

    great video can you tell me where I can purchase lime wood for lime wood floral carving

    • Mary May February 16, 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

      Hello David,
      Lime wood is the English version of “basswood”, so you should be able to get this online. I have not used this since I have been back in the US, so I don’t know where to purcahse it. Basswood, Lime wood, and Linden are of the same family – very light colored wood, soft but not spongy, forgiving grain, strong enough to get good details. Make sure whatever “basswood type” wood you use, that it is from colder climates. If the winters are not cold enough the grain tends to get a little stringy and the color is more yellow than white. For example, the basswood from Tennessee has real obvious grain lines, while the basswood from Michigan is difficult to even see the grain.

      Hope this helps!

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