The Acanthus Leaf

The Acanthus Leaf 2017-05-23T14:53:43+00:00
Carving the Acanthus Leaf
A Rite of Passage for the Classical Carver
“The long history of the acanthus leaf in decorative arts and architecture can be traced back to ancient Greece. It was embraced by the Roman Empire, passed through the Byzantine Empire and the Middle Ages, and was rediscovered with a new vitality during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. It has remained through the years as perhaps the most commonly carved decorative element throughout history. Students of classical, Western ornament will discover that learning how to design, shape, and incorporate this motif into their designs is a true rite of passage. Whether a professional woodworker, architect, hobbyist, designer, or one simply captivated by classical design and ornamentation, there is much to discover about this mysterious and enduring leaf.” Chapter 1

I recently finished writing my first book, and it is on carving this fascinating and historical leaf. Lost Art Press will be publishing my book and Christopher Schwarz has recently made a statement:

“I can tell you layout-wise that it is the most complex book we have tackled since we started Lost Art Press 10 years ago. But it will be worth the wait.”

It is currently in the design and editing phase and he hopes to have it in print autumn, 2017.

My book begins by exploring the history, significance and beauty of this leaf. Then I offer a brief overview of essential carving techniques and tool sharpening. There will then be a chapter explaining the specific details of the leaf, and the process of how to draw it. If you can draw the leaf, the carving process is so much easier.

There are project chapters demonstrating the step-by-step process of drawing and carving 13 different styles of acanthus leaf. These include the basic leaf, the early Italian leaf, the Greek leaf, the Renaissance leaf, the Scandinavian leaf, the French Rococo leaf, and the Baroque leaf. I also have chapters on the traditional acanthus leaf on a cabriole leg, on a turned surface, on a molding, on a bracket, and also as a rosette.

Each project chapter will include:

  • A personal story about my life as a carver
  • Photo of the finished leaf
  • Full-size template
  • Tool list
  • Step-by-step process of drawing the leaf
  • Step-by-step process of carving the leaf (including photos and drawings)

Video lessons will also be available showing the complete process of how to carve each leaf. These will be available as an option to the book.

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