Carving a Convex Scallop Shell

2017-04-08T23:38:19-04:00 April 13th, 2016|

This is a brief introduction to "Carving a Convex Scallop Shell."

This two episode lesson shows how to carve a stylized scallop shell of my own design. Watch the creative process at work as we discover layer after layer of potential completion on the journey to discovering the final shape.

  • Lesson Contents: 2 episodes; template, tool list, and photo in Episode 1
  • Type of Wood: Butternut
  • Size: 4-7/8"w x 4-1/2"h x 7/8"d
  • Tool List: 3mm v-chisel; 6mm v-chisel; #1, 22mm; #3, 14mm; #3, 18mm
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
= More Lessons at the Intermediate Skill Level =


  1. Hardin Byars April 13, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

    I loved carving this convex scallop shell and your patient instruction made it so easy for this newbie to step up to the labor with confidence. Thank you!
    My question is with regard to grain and layout. On my first version I was careful to align the grain on the blank with the template as you did. In my eagerness to start a second shell I inadvertently cut the template 90 degrees to the grain (lesson learned). In general, how does one decide the best layout of a pattern on a given piece of stock?

    • Mary May April 15, 2017 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      Hello Hardin,
      A difficult question to answer, and it could depend on several things. Is this going to be attached to a piece of furniture? If so, the grain direction should to be the same as the wood it is being attached to, or as it ages they may not move together and can potentially crack the carving. I also consider whether there are any extra fragile parts of the design, such as stems on a flower, etc. It would be ideal to have this part of the design running along the grain, and not across it. But ultimately, grain challenges will occur no matter what position it is in. The challenges just become different for each.

      • Hardin Byars April 17, 2017 at 11:25 pm - Reply

        Excellent, thanks.

        • Mary May April 18, 2017 at 2:13 pm - Reply

          Glad you enjoyed the lesson! Happy carving!

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