• From Steve Cofield on What videos would you like to see?

    Hi Mary
    Do you have any photos of a carved Fleur De Lis? I would like to include one in a relief carving with Acanthus leaf. I don't know where to start and the best tools to use. I joined your on line school 3 days ago and have already learned a whole lot about carving. Keep up the great work, thank you!

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    2012/10/29 at 1:10 pm
    • From Mary May on What videos would you like to see?

      Steve, I don't have a photograph of one that I have done. Have you tried googling "Fleur Des Lis Photos"? Sometimes some pretty impressive images come up. That would be my best suggestion. I will also see if I can find any. If you find one that you like, let me know. It is a good project to do a video on.

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      2012/10/29 at 1:20 pm
  • From Steven Palmer on Carving a 3-D Hand - Episode 1

    I really liked the instruction, watching it go from block to hand was quite amazing.. thanks for all the great teaching.. you are an inspiration.... Papa

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    2012/10/16 at 9:48 pm
  • From Ed Looney on What videos would you like to see?

    Hi Mary

    How about an episode on a carvers bench and work holding methods?



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    2012/09/27 at 5:24 am
  • From Mary May on Carving a Turned Capital - Episode 1

    Thats a very interesting question, and I hope I am able to help you. First of all, I need to tell you I am definitely not a finisher, and know very little about it. My time and energy has been spent focusing on making the shapes and I leave it to the experts to do the finishing. Quite often a furniture maker gives me the parts to carve and I have been absolutely spoiled in that I can hand it off to him to do the finishing.

    Re: Sanding - My ultimate goal is to not have to sand a piece after I carve it. However, the reality of the situation sometimes veers me off that goal. Here are some situations: If I am carving in something that is going to be painted, than I have much more flexibility in the final surface, and will be more likely to sand it when I am completely finished carving. And then if I really want it to be obvious that it is hand carved, I don't touch it with sand paper - I leave all the gouge marks in the carving.

    If it is an unpainted period reproduction piece, I try to match the surface of the original piece - usually lightly sanded to remove the facets of the carving tools - nothing that will actually leave scratches in the wood, however. One wood I really try to avoid sanding is walnut. The burnished surface of walnut after carving is so beautiful, that touching it with sandpaper can completely change the surface and cause it to be dull. Other woods which I would more likely sand - basswood and poplar.

    One thing I tell my students is not to carve with sandpaper, or as David Reilly, my assistant at Marc Adams School, calls it a "50 grit gouge". If you have to sand it to reshape it, you might as well use a gouge - it's a lot quicker and a lot less dusty.

    I hope that helps. Maybe someone who is much more knowledgable in the finishing aspect can throw in some ideas or comments?

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    2012/09/25 at 9:50 pm
  • From keith peterson on Carving a Turned Capital - Episode 1

    I'd really love to see how you finish a carved piece. Do you use sandpaper on every project or just let every little facet show? Does the finish bring out different shades if it's not sanded? Is it a much different procedure from finishing furniture? I've never seen anyone actually put finish on a carved project and I'm very curious. Thanks

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    2012/09/25 at 9:29 pm