From the session announcement:
Early American furniture was decorated with bold and lively carvings that are straightforward for the modern woodworker to reproduce. Find out how to prepare the material for this low-relief method and watch the tools being used to produce a simple for a chest. Close-up camera work will show all the details.
— Woodworking in America announcement
I first met Peter Follansbee at Valley Forge just minutes before he started his session. He was attentive and totally focused, although many people were already finding seats in the room; the room would be quite crowded before long. But he was relaxed, ready to get to the job at hand: Showing us how he carves panels in the style of 17th century craftsmen, and to share wonderful information on carvings and details of furniture of the period.
Peter was introduced by Steve Shanesy, Publisher, F&W Media, Inc., who called him a historian, teacher, one of the “wonderful people” who found a craft and has pursued it for well over twenty years. Peter works at Plimoth Plantation’s Living History Museum; he also makes and sells wonderful period pieces. I encourage you to visit his blog, where he documents much of the work he does.
Peter proceeded to give a wonderful slide show of very old furniture pieces and carvings, placing them in historical perspective, and in preparation for the techniques he would later demonstrate. Then he proceeded to demonstrate the carving techniques that result in wonderful panels, to be used in chests, stools, tables, cabinets, etc.
About the video: I hope I have given you a good sense of the terrific work Peter does in carving panels, and the joinery techniques he demonstrated for use in various period pieces. To see a wonderful carved pattern emerging from a flat piece of gorgeous, “true quarter-sawn” (riven) oak, is a wonderful thing. But to experience it in person is something else again.
Now I want to whet your appetite – this is a sample of Peter’s work, which I posted some time ago:
Note: I will also be posting video of Peter’s hands-on session, which he conducted the day after I filmed this “formal” session.
Looking forward to October 2010, in Cincinnati: I also hope you will get a sense that the Woodworking in America conferences are a unique experience, where we have an opportunity to see fine craftsmen like Peter demonstrate their skill and knowledge. I hope to see you in Cincinnati!
I would love to hear from you about the following:
- Please let me know if you liked this video, and the techniques Peter shared with us during this session.
- Do YOU do any carving on furniture pieces you make? If you do, I would love to highlight it here!
— Al Navas